THE BRONX - Anti-violence activists rallied Tuesday in response to a rash of shootings that marked the beginning of summer in the Bronx.

Three people were killed in the Bronx over the weekend, including a teenager who was shot just a few blocks away from the 41st Precinct building, where police and community leaders held the rally.

Children from nearby schools also attended, calling for an end to gun violence.

Officials sought to remind young people that they had alternatives to violence in the summer, like singing programs at a local youth center.

Homicides are up 16.7 percent in the Bronx this month over the same period last year, police say.

In another move to battle gun violence, state Assemblyman Victor Pichardo announced a new gun buyback program near the site of another fatal shooting that took place last week on East 175th Street.

Pichardo also called on Congress to pass new gun control legislation.