PINE BLUFF, Ark. — Homicides are on the upswing in Pine Bluff with another young victim being killed Wednesday night, but one young man is hoping to spark change with his nonprofit organization.  

According to the Pine Bluff Police Department, at about 8:30 pm this evening officers responded to a home in the 3100 block of South Virginia St in reference to a shooting. 

Upon arriving they located a vehicle in the driveway that was damaged by gunfire. A 25-year-old male shooting victim was located between the car and the home. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

21-year-old Pine Bluff native, Mar’Tavious Procter’s organization is called Pride Pine Bluff.

He aims to reach those around his age and younger to get them involved in making positive change.

“Right now, we have a negative image shining over our city. and we have a lot of outsiders wanting to live here but all they see is crime crime crime.”

The victims of 3 of the last 4 homicides in Pine Bluff – 25 years old and younger.

In mid-July a 16-year-old was the victim of a 16th homicide on West 5th Ave. 

On South Poplar Street, another juvenile was killed in June. This was the city’s 15th homicide.

Also, In March a child was shot and killed on 28th and Elm. 

A 21-year-old was killed on South Virginia in April. 

In May an 18-year-old died from a shooting at Regional Park. An 11-year-old was also shot in that same shooting but survived.

Proctor says he wanted to start his nonprofit because he remembers “Pine Bluff teen killed,” “Pine Bluff teen gunned downed” being the headlines. He wanted to change that narrative.   

He says the city is missing love for the community. He hopes Pride Pine Bluff can instill that with getting young people involved. 

His group has a project called Project Pride where they go to different wards and tackle different issues such as picking up trash. 

“Once younger people see the changes we’re doing in the city, that’s going to get them to want to make those same changes.”

If you’d like to get involved with Pride Pine Bluff, you can follow them on Facebook and Instagram at Pride Pine Bluff.

Pride Pine Bluff is also accepting donations via Cash App ($PridePineBluff).