The perkins case is one of several violent incidents involving young people in reading over the past year. 3 students and a recent graduate from reading high school were murdered during the school year. Tonight students came together to celebrate a night of non-violence as part of the national night ouprogram. Wfmz's dwayne parker reports.
Reporter: at the clinton street pool students celebrated the 10th anniversary of hangin' in the hood in conjunction with the national night out anti-crime initiative.
Dushawn ware: we wanted it to be a night of peace event for our youth. A night that they can come out and begin to start their school year on a positive note.
Reporter: the event had extra meaning for many students, considering the rash of homicides that plagued reading school district during the 2010-2011 school year. In september, 15-year-old willie tineo was killed over his sneakers. The following month, 18-year-old david arango's body was found in the oakbrook section of reading with a gunshot wound to the head. Just before christmas, reading high lost his life. Just hours before thanksgiving, 19-year-old jason rodriguez was killed - he was scheduled to get married later that week. And now police are currently hunting down 17-year-old reading high student matthew perkins, wanted in connection with a shooting over the weekend that left one person dead, and two others wounded.
Isamac torres: it's a waste of life, and it's a waste of experience and talent. Because from what i understand, the families that i've spoken to, these kids they had potential. Now we'll never be able to see it.
Reporter: students say this coming year, things will be different.
Nichole young- trapp: this is going to be way better year, a way positive year. This is what we're staring out with. To let everybody know that we're still here and we're going to continue to be positive.
Stand up: now despite cuts in federal and state funding, hangin' in the hood was able to continue on this year, thanks to an outpouring of community donations.
Dushawn ware: so this has been a blessing, and it's just growing and growing and growing and growing.
Reporter: making a difference, one student at a time. In reading, dwayne parker, 69 news.