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'We shouldn't have to worry about that' | Groups march, pray and demand change after three teens killed

In the morning, one group prayed and sang outside Austin-East High School. In the afternoon, another group marched to demand change across Knoxville.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — For Austin-East Magnet High School graduate Ethan Cooke, the past few weeks have been difficult.

"Going to Austin-East, you just kind of know everybody," Cooke told 10News. "It's been rough ... We're really just trying to get together as a community to stop the gun violence."

He and Jameisha Landis organized a prayer circle and march in honor of Justin Taylor, Stanley Freeman Jr. and Janaria Muhammad on Saturday.

"We want the whole Knoxville [to come together] because this is a problem that needs to be noticed and tried to be fixed," Landis said. "We shouldn't have to worry about that."

In the parking lot of Five Points Plaza, Landis and a group of people prayed for change. They decorated signs in honor of those lost to gun violence and talked about ways to make a difference.

Credit: WBIR

RELATED: Gone Too Soon: A community mourns three young lives lost to gun violence

"Kids need to have opportunities in life and be able to reach their potential," Landis said. "We really want to see change."

Their group marched along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue to Austin-East Magnet High School, where a different group had gathered to pray just hours earlier.

"This is a red sea moment where it seems impossible and you're surrounded on all sides and don't know what to do," said Melissa Tindell. "But you've taught us that when we don't know what to do, we pray."

Tindell and others walked around the school grounds, praying for all of the students, their safety and their healing. On Monday, Austin-East students will return to the school building for the first time in a week.