Mother of murdered Syracuse teen pleads for an end to violence

Willithia Pullins urges young people to stop the violence, asks not to retaliate after son's murder.

Days after her son was stabbed to death leaving a party in Syracuse, Willithia Pullins spoke out Friday, pleading to young people.

"My message is for young people...excel in school," says Pullins.

17-year-old Charles Pitts was killed Sunday at a party on South Clinton Street. Gilberto Rodriguez, 16, was charged with second degree murder.

Pullins asked neighbors to not only stop the violence, but to end any plans for retaliation after her son's murder.

"I don't want no to your peers and our community," says Pullins.

Pullins is also calling for parents to keep a more watchful eye on their children. "Be nosy," said Pullins. "Be in their business...Because right now, no one wanna stand where I'm standing."

Pitts' family and friends are now trying to turn their situation into a positive one. "We know that's Chuck's death came from a negative choice made by a young person," said Pastor Daren Jaime. "But this family is committed to making young people aware that you can make positive choices and have impact, even in the wake of their grief."

Police responded to a call at 550 South Clinton Street. While trying to disperse the large crowd, Pitts approached police and told them he'd been stabbed. He was pronounced dead at Upstate University Hospital.

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