Providence leaders call for change after 19-year-old killed on birthday
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) -- Councilwoman Carmen Castillo held a candlelight vigil Sunday night to remember Berta Perreira – Roldan.
She was celebrating her 19th birthday last Sunday, and had just a nightclub near the corner of Detroit Avenue and Broad Street, when she was shot and killed.
Police say she wasn't even the intended target.
"It's just the wrong time, and the wrong place for her to be that night," said State Sen. Ana Quezada. "As a community leader, as a mother, as a senator, I'm very sad for that situation."
At the spot where she was killed, leaders tried to turn that sadness into action.
"I don't say we need the police every moment, all day here," said Councilwoman Castillo. "But during the time they close the club at 2 o'clock in the morning, we need more police present in our neighborhood."
City Council President Sabina Matos agrees on increasing the police presence.
"We're willing to fund more police academies," Matos said. "We have to make sure that every year we have a police academy going on, until we are back to the full force that we used to have."
Other community groups say they want to be part of a solution to prevent violence.
"I just hope that we can do something to help those in our community, young people, so they can feel like they can go out and enjoy themselves," said Lisa Pina – Warren, of the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence.
Many at the vigil were parents themselves, demanding action now to keep their families safe.
"We care about kids," said State Representative Grace Diaz. "We care at the point that we don't take it no more. That's it. This is the last time we want to see this happen."
Police have yet to make an arrest in this case.