Following a tough year for Dayton, Ohio residents spanning a tornado that devastated parts of the area and then this month’s shooting which claimed at least 9 lives and left 27 wounded, humour merchant and social activist Dave Chappelle staged a benefit concert to honour the fallen and rally residents to not despair.
The 24-year-old gunman with an AR-15-style assault rifle and a 100-round drum magazine emerged on a crowded street in Dayton, Ohio wrecking the havoc.
It took six Dayton police officers to respond, open fire and kill the shooter as he tried to enter a packed bar. The August 25 concert comes three weeks after deaths in the downtown Oregon District.
Chappelle; a resident of Yellow Springs, Ohio, about 20 miles outside of Dayton took the stage Sunday evening to cheers and applause, telling the crowd, “Today we’re going to show the world that nothing will get us down,” reports CNN with Chappelle adding “Dayton, Ohio, no matter what’s going on, no matter how tough these times get, we hold our heads up high, because we know what we’re about.”
The American stand-up comedian, actor, writer and producer added: “And we’re not just doing this for our city. We’re doing this for every victim of every mass shooting in our country.”
Chappelle who is the recipient of numerous accolades, including two Emmy Awards and two Grammy Awards rallied his celebratory friends to the cause including Jon Stewart, Stevie Wonder, Chance the Rapper and Talib Kweli and Kanye West.
The concert which drew in about 20,000 people saw Chappelle being wished well as it was also his birthday. However, the big announcement came from Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley who told him the city had declared Sunday “Dave Chappelle Day” in Dayton.