San Jose Church Honors Homicide Victim With Cross

Residents who live on San Jose's San Antonio Street say violence is nothing new to the neighborhood.

The area was the site of the city's first homicide this year. Police on Thursday say they found a man shot in someone's driveway.

MORE: Man Shot to Death in San Jose's 1st Homicide of 2014

Church goers at nearby Guadalupe Parish are calling for peace and plan to honor every murder victim in San Jose this year with a white cross on the church grounds.

The gesture is similar to what St. Columbia Catholic Church in Oakland is doing.

"We focus on the hot neighborhood, and that is throughout the city of San Jose," says Esther Mota, who supervises community workers who walk city streets to fight gang violence.

The effort to combat gang violence is part of the mayor's gang prevention task force, and may be one of the reasons homicides were down slightly in San Jose last year, from 42 the previous year, to 40 in 2013.

MORE: Homicides Dip In All Bay Area Cities

"We have many programs, like the community crisis response program where any time there's a gang-related homicide, we get a call from San Jose PD and we start doing our outreach," Mota says.

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