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Sheba Turk / Eyewitness News
Email: sturk@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ShebaTurk

NEW ORLEANS -- A video of Akein Scott in handcuffs is not an unusual image of a suspect. Since Sunday's shooting, the 19-year old has been labeled as everything from criminal to gunman to shooter, but you probably haven't heard him called a victim.

'Aiken is the victim of his own perspective of reality. He is the victim of that. He comes out of a culture that believes 'I have to get them before they get me,'' said Dr. Willie Gable, president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.

Earlier Thursday, there was a press conference at True Vine Baptist Church, which is within a mile of the Mother's Day shooting. Local church leaders came together to talk about a union between two things that aren't usually paired together -- criminals and the church.

'We have opened the doors of our churches and various ministries to assist in this effort to assist so many caught up in this culture of violence' explained C.S. Gordon, pastor of New Zion Baptist Church.

The ministers want anyone else involved in the shooting to know they can turn to the church for help.

'We can make sure that you are safely transferred to law enforcement. And in fact in our church we have legal individuals, lawyers and in some cases can provide legal services,' added Dr. Gable.

Ministers are calling on people in their community to look beyond the church as a place to find entertainment on Sunday and see the church as the place of refuge that it is.

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