Organizers are expecting around 250 participants Saturday for the March For Our Lives demonstration in Killeen that will start around 4:30 p.m. at the Destiny World Outreach Center, 101 N. W.S. Young Drive.
The march, coordinated by the Bell County Democrats and the Killeen branch of the NAACP, will go about half a mile south of the starting location to the Killeen Community Center, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd.
TaNeika Driver-Moultrie, executive committee member of the Killeen NAACP, said the group was excited to be part of a national movement of protests around the country.
“We’re very excited to see what will be going on around the nation,” she said.
March For Our Lives is a student-led national demonstration protesting gun violence in schools following the shooting death of 17 students Feb 14 at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Driver-Moultrie said an undetermined number of Killeen students will speak at the march’s end point.
Killeen police will be present to direct pedestrians taking part in a march across the bridge on North W.S. Young Street.
Just the bridge on North W.S. Young Street will be shut down, KPD spokeswoman Ofelia Miramontez said Thursday. The street will remain open to normal traffic.
A counter-protest in support of gun rights will be held 5 p.m. at the Killeen Community Center. Organized by Open Carry Texas, the counter-protest will stand against the Bell County Democrats who call for tighter gun legislation, organizers said, and advocate for the elimination of gun-free zones, according to organizer C.J. Grisham.
Miramontez said officers will be present until marchers are cleared off the bridge, and may stay longer depending on how many marchers are present.
“Decisions will be made the day of the march,” Miramontez said.
Driver-Moultrie said it was her understanding that police would be on hand for security from the beginning of the march at 4:30 until the event concludes at around 6 p.m.
Both of the events are open to the public, and coincide with marches around the nation the same day.
The march was originally scheduled to start at the Killeen school district administration building across the street from Destiny World Outreach Center, but march organizers were “told to not park or walk on KISD property,” Driver-Moultrie said.
Follow #KilleenMarch and check the Herald's website for live coverage of this event.