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Victim Brushed by Bullet Plans to Stop Violence with Basketball

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - When Lisa Fitzpatrick woke up Sunday morning and heard about the Bourbon Street shootings, she shook her head in horror.

“Of course, I began to ask why?  I think people seek a why because it makes us feel better,”  Fitzpatrick said.

When she was only 23 years old she had her own first-hand brush with a bullet.

“Nearly 30 years ago, I was a passenger in a car when another car pulled up beside me and a shot rang out.  I saw 2 young kids.  They were around 11 or 12 years old and they were struggling to hold the gun.  A shot came through my window and grazed my face and nose.  We found out later it was a gang initiation, shoot a random person day, and I was the one,” she said.

Now she’s taking it upon herself to be the one to make a change.

“I want to seek the solutions.  I seek peace.”

Her solution is Apex Youth Center in Central City, where she believes basketball can make a difference.

“What we found is through sports and recreation, we can teach the youth and the community how to have competition without conflict.  We know we can save lives.  Together we can stop violence.  Of all places, New Orleans in its vibrancy and beauty we should be able to come to a solution,”  Fitzpatrick said.

On Saturday, Dick’s Sporting Goods and the Sports Matter Foundation donated $119,000 to the Apex Youth Center to upgrade their basketball courts.

For more information:  apexyouthcenter.org