TOPEKA (KSNT) – One local community outreach program weighed in on the record-breaking number of homicides in Topeka for 2023 and what this means for the city moving forward.

After police ruled Sunday’s shooting the 31st murder in Topeka, 2023 is now the city’s deadliest year on record. There have been six homicides in the month of October already, including four children.

Johnathan Sublet, the founder of ‘SENT’ Topeka and the lead pastor of Fellowship Hi-Crest, told 27 News that regardless of age, the loss of any life is tragic. His organization, located in southeast Topeka, aims to bring neighbors together and foster relationships with the community.

“No matter what age that person is, they were special to someone,” Sublet said. “They should be special to all of us because we’re all tied together, we all need one another, we’re all part of the fabric of our community. And so if we only start to care when we lose someone below a certain age, then that says something about us.” 

From Sublet’s perspective, looking at the bigger picture from a holistic approach is imperative. He said that approach could include addressing mental health services, food insecurity or anything that has the potential to spark violence.

Sublet said he, and many others, want a solution.

“I want to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to accuse this group or that group of not doing what I think they should be doing,” Sublet said. “But what I truly believe from working side-by-side with so many great organizations and people in our community that everyone cares.” 

The Topeka Police Department and the Mayor’s office told 27 News neither is available to speak about the situation today. 27 News will continue working for you to get answers from them.