Bibb County Coroner says “Stop the Killing”

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Bibb County’s coroner is taking a new approach to drawing attention to the rising number of homicides in the community.

Coroner Leon Jones says the county has now had 25 homicides in 2020.

To draw attention to the issue, Coroner Jones has placed a sign on the side of his hearse that says “Stop the Killing”.

Jones says he is shocked by the number of murders that have taken place within the past 5 months.

“It is deeply disturbing to me and no one is saying anything about it,” Jones said. “I’m the only one who’s saying anything about it. Here are all these people running for office and nobody is saying anything about it. This is our city, this is our town. I’m a hometown boy, and this is deeply disturbing so I do it by myself.”

Macon-Bibb had 25 total homicides in 2019.

“Just stop the killing… Put the guns down. Let me be clear when I say that, I don’t want guns taken away from anybody. I’m just saying stop the killing.”

The sign’s gory appearance was created to catch attention everywhere the hearse travels. Jones says he hopes the sign inspires people to do one thing.

“Pray for our community,” Jones said. “Even though you’re not in the church, you can pray online everybody else is doing everything online. Pray online, just put a prayer up, just pray for our community.”

Jones encourages people to stop by his office to take pictures of the hearse. He encourages the community to share the images on social media to shed light on the issue.

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Peyton Lewis is a 20-year-old reporter from Stockbridge, Georgia. She graduated in December of 2019 with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She found a love for reporting after receiving a video camera for her 8th birthday. She and her friends would make mock newscasts in her backyard other creative content. Peyton's love for writing and creating videos pushed her to pursue journalism. In order to kick-start her dream of being a reporter, she left the traditional high school experience at the age of 16 to attend Gordon State College as a full-time student. She graduated with her Associate's degree two weeks before graduating from high school. Previously, Peyton worked as a news intern for 11 Alive in Atlanta, a radio intern for the Joy FM, and a reporter/ technical manager for Grady Newsource. Peyton dreams to become an investigative reporter that leaves a lasting impact on the world around her. She loves Disney, dogs, spicy food, musicals, and her family. Peyton also enjoys reading, watching movies, cheering on the Dawgs, and going on new adventures.