FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- On Christmas Eve, a local pastor was again bringing attention to Fort Wayne's record-tying number of homicides.
The Rev. Bill McGill has espoused an unusual method of trying to stop the violence.
For the second time this year, McGill is ending a 40-day fast to end the violence that's plagued Fort Wayne this year.
The city and county have seen 44 homicides so far this year, with rulings still to be issued on at least two other deaths.
That ties the record set in the late '90's.
This spring McGill drank only water and took supplements for 40 days to encourage peace in the summit city.
There were three homicides in that time, two of them police action shootings.
He began his second fast in the middle of November, and only made it two weeks before his doctor ordered him to start eating soup because he lost so much weight.
McGill says there have been two homicides in that time, and he wants everyone in the community to step up and do their part.
“We've had a difficult year, there's no two ways about it. But at the end of the day, this Christmas Eve, while we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, we also remember that there are families, 44 of them, whose hearts have been touched, hearts have been saddened. And we're going to remember those individuals by lighting a candle for each one of those individuals tonight as we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace,” McGill says.
That ceremony was to be held at seven at the Imani Baptist Temple on Indiana Avenue in Fort Wayne.
Everyone was welcome to attend.
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