LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Local pastors came together on Good Friday to bring a positive light back to a site where tragedy struck only days ago.
On March 20, three people -- 20-year old Jeminskian J. Arvie, 23-year-old David Jermaine Galmore and 20-year-old Fitzgerald Tremayne Guillory, all of Lake Charles -- were shot and killed in McMillan Park near the Sunlight Manor Apartments.
Friday's event centers on returning joy to the park and helping young people, according to organizers Paul Pettefer and Braylon Harris, pastors.
"I thought it was a great idea to have something like this for the children," one mother said. "After what happened it kind of gave the park an eerie feeling, and when you see kids laughing and playing it brings back life."
The pastors say Good Friday is the perfect day for togetherness and healing.
"We believe Good Friday is a great example that when something burns to the ground like when Jesus was crucified, because of God's love something beautiful can rise up out of the ashes," Pettefer said.
The day began with an Easter egg hunt. Five lucky children picked an egg with a red ticket, and that meant they took home $50.
Good Friday at Sunlight Manor and McMillan Park included a fish fry, grief counseling, prayer walk, worship gathering, youth activities and reconstructing park benches. There are also opportunities for children to connect with mentors.
"After the tragedy it is important to come out and mingle with the neighborhood and offer a mentoring program to other young kids," Mentor Tori Sweet said.
They hope the message of love and peace will resonate with those in the area.
"We believe that because of God's love that the city can be different and young people don't have to end their lives tragically," Pettefer said.
Police arrested Armonta Hadnot, of Lake Charles, in the triple murder case and believe he is the primary suspect. They also arrested Lon Porter, also of Lake Charles, in connection with the shootings.
Police are still looking for a third suspect. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 491-1311.
For more information on community events and mentoring programs click HERE.