Columbus man pleads to finish gun violence after dropping three nephews

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Most people will never be able to imagine losing a loved one once. For Victor Peoples, it’s a wound that has been reopened three times.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Victor Peoples sat in a fold-out chair on the sidewalk on East Fulton Street Wednesday afternoon. It is a place that is close to his heart.

“Actually, this place … this place we’re sitting in is actually the place where Marcus was killed,” he said.

Peoples can still see it when it arrived on the warm June night of 2014. His nephew, Marcus Van Cleaf, had been shot.

A lot has changed seven years later. The nightclub that once stood has disappeared. Peoples credits key players in the city for making this possible. Still, he says there are no suspects, arrests, or responses to the murder of his nephew.

Seven years later, Peoples says he knows there are more and more families who know his family’s struggle.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “It’s crazy, it’s daunting at the same time because these people out here are killing people, it’s like it’s the wild Wild West.”

Most people will never be able to imagine losing a loved one once. For Peoples, it’s a wound that has been reopened three times.

Marcus was killed in 2014. Javon Van Cleaf was shot dead in 2016. In 2020, Erick Peeples was killed.

Three fathers. Three brothers. Three nephews. Three lives.

“I don’t think anyone knows the impact it has on the family grieving,” said Peoples.

As the Columbus 130 murders advance, Peoples reaches out to the people of the city to talk to one another, not to one another.

“We just have to do better,” he said. “I understand a disagreement. I get it, hey, I might not like this person, but killing yourself because of it … it makes absolutely no sense. “