The Watch Dog: Violence Has Someone Fighting Back
By Derek Obregon
Take Pomona Victory Outreach Pastor Chris Cotinola, for example. He was there to comfort the family of a man that died of gunshot wounds on Holt Ave., 25-year-old Covan Brady. He was the second man to pass away on a night that saw two deadly shootings that happened within two hours of each other! Police do not know if his murder is connected to another shooting that took place two hours earlier, leaving one man, Patrick Cooper, dead, and another unidentified man hospitalized.
Cotinola has such a strong connection and passion for aiding suffering families because he too has felt the pain of losing a loved one. Cotinola lost his own son seven months ago to violence. He is now on a mission to bring peace to the city and lessen the burden on the families whose loved ones have died in homicides.
This weekend, he’s taking a slightly unconventional approach by putting on a play that focuses on gang, drug and racial issues. The pay is called Shadows of Death, and it features local members of his congregation of all ages.
The production is put on every year, but the play is never the same twice. Each year, it is adapted around the issues the city is facing. “We bring it up to date every year, so that way it’s relatable to everything going on at the time,” Cotinola said.
It may be a tough thing for people to want to hear, but it’s a worthwhile message that can hopefully have some impact. The plays biggest moment that really drives the message home for people is when Satan shows up.
“When he comes out, it really exposes who’s really behind all the pain, who’s really causing the deaths, who’s the one really influencing the young people getting hooked on drugs,” Cotinola said.
The play starts at 6pm this Saturday and Sunday at Shield of Faith Church, but he also has a special service at 10am on Sunday at the Fairplex’s Avalon building.
Noel Gugliemi (of The Dark Knight Rises, Training Day and The Fast and the Furious), will be delivering a message. Gugliemi grew up in a gang and drug atmosphere so he knows all too well the pains that are associated with that. He also faced some additional demons after he was exposed to the money and power of Hollywood. It can really change a person.
The timing of his speaking is a coincidence, but after the recent events, it is a message that couldn’t have come at a better time.