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Arkansas business owners want change after Little Rock shooting

Wednesday night's shooting homicide marks the 25th killing in the city for 2021. Little Rock police identified 18-year old Caleb Sykes as the victim.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Wednesday night's shooting homicide marks the 25th killing in the city for 2021. Little Rock police identified 18-year old Caleb Sykes as the victim found in a vehicle outside Our Community Market.

The historic Wright Avenue neighborhood is home to a lot of minority businesses.

Owners said it's not the first time they've dealt with violence in the area.

"I walked out and that's when the crowd was gathering and that's when I witnessed the blue lights," said Arthur "Solar Beam" Kelly, the owner of Bright Wright Laundromat and Community Involvement.

He's had his business that sits on Wright Avenue and Battery Street for 14 years.

He says there's been plenty of crimes in and around the area since then that he witnessed or heard.

"I always say we act according to our environment, and I have been on my 'Black EYES Matter,' meaning we act according to what we're seeing," said Kelly.

Olamide Lagoye Beyel lives in the historic neighborhood and says crime is directly related to economic standing.

"Give the children an outlet so that they can actually have an outlet for their energy instead of just being bored and acting out. Idle hands are the devil's workshop is what my mama use to say," said Beyel.

Kelly agrees and also says an idle mind is the devils workshop.

He hopes it's not another 14 years before progress can be made and people will stop killing each other.

"With our inner city makeovers, I am optimistic that things will get better."