Aunty Robs

In December 2018, my beautiful, kind and loving niece Emily was senselessly murdered by someone she’d met a few weeks prior, on a dating site. He should not have had a gun or been in the community. This was not his first crime.

I can’t find the words (because there are none) that could possibly describe how heartbroken I am. There’s a part of me that doesn’t know what to write because I don’t want to have to acknowledge that it’s actually real — that she is no longer with us. Another part can’t stop thinking about how much regret I have for not making more time for her when, now, it’s simply not possible…. I’ll forever regret the things I didn’t do when I had the chance.

One thing I won’t ever have regrets about is how hard we have worked and fought as a family to honor and demand justice for Emily. Something has to change, and we won’t stop until it does.

“Love your family. Spend time, be kind and serve one another. Make no room for regrets. Tomorrow is not promised, and today is short.”

I love and miss you more than words can tell, Ems.

Busy Bee

My late daughter’s father, my ex-husband, had learned from his father how to control and mentally abuse his victims. He appeared to be an upstanding member of the community. He had his own real-estate business, had previously been an Army officer, and had received the highest award at his university. He was very charming and intelligent, so it was easy for him to gaslight everyone. His reasons for the emotionally cruel things he did or didn’t do always sounded reasonable. And my daughter fell for it as well, then realized it after having endured trauma.

Tragically, she got involved with a guy about four years older who was also smart and manipulative. He eventually, after mind games and physically abusing her, convinced her to shoot herself. She died on Father’s Day morning at age 21. The police had been called on both her dad and the boyfriend. Other professionals, including Child Protective Services and a judge, had been warned throughout the years, but they would not listen to me. I don’t know how she got the gun. Her father, who had paid off others in the past, didn’t want to pursue justice, and the police did nothing.

Anonymous

On August 14, 2019, while I was home from college for the summer, I woke up to a text that changed my life forever. It was a news article link from my roommate, which stated that there had been a shooting at our college home. That morning I found out that my roommate Stephanie had been murdered by her ex-boyfriend, who also had lived with us. We learned that after she had broken up with him a few weeks before, he broke into our home and shot her multiple times. He then calmly turned himself in.

I am a 21-year-old college student who lost one of my closest friends to senseless gun violence. She had no chance of survival. Because he was able to so easily and legally obtain a gun and do this, our best friend is gone. I feel broken, numb, scared, anxious and unable to trust new people. I’ll never see my best friend again because someone who shouldn’t be able to buy a gun was easily able to do so. Stephanie was a leader, an amazing chef, a thoughtful friend, and a family-oriented person with a great sense of humor, and we miss her more each day.

Robin Irene Ortiz

On August 1, 2011, I received the call that would change my life forever. My beautiful daughter was murdered by her boyfriend. My baby girl left two children, ages six and two. They are now being raised by their father and stepmother. It’s been a journey that I never knew I would have ever taken. My heart is broken forever. She was celebrating her 26th birthday. My only comfort is that someday I’ll be reunited with her in heaven. 7/30/81-7/31/11.

Tina D.

Emily was my only niece! (I have 10 nephews.) One week after Emily’s 24th birthday, she was brutally murdered in broad daylight by her ex-boyfriend. She was held at gunpoint for over an hour, then jumped off the second-story balcony of his apartment to escape. Despite being shot twice in the process of jumping, she was able to run nearly 500 yards before collapsing. Her killer shot her two more times at close range. Emily died at the hospital a short time later, after reporting the details of her ordeal.

Emily was brave, kind, athletic and FUN! She was her brother’s best friend and her mother’s pride and joy! She was my daughter’s most adored cousin and a best friend to so many!

Two years after Emily’s murder, her mother, Connie (my sister), died in her sleep of heart failure at the age of 57. My remaining siblings and I know that Connie died from a heart so stricken with the grief of losing her cherished daughter, it could no longer function.

We miss them both every day.

Lisa Robinson

On the morning of June 13, 2014, my life was forever changed when my beautiful, vivacious, 23-year-old daughter Aja Dawn Robinson was gunned down in a parking lot in Columbia, South Carolina, by an ex-boyfriend who then committed suicide.

Aja was a hardworking young woman, working two jobs, and was excited to be moving into her first apartment soon. Her murder shattered me and has had a tremendous impact on our entire family.

I will be forever be thankful for the memories that I have of Aja — her silly laugh and her ability to draw everyone around her in with the joy that she radiated. Her love of animals, especially cats, and the many strays that she claimed “followed her home” and stayed. But man…. Do I miss my baby girl. The holidays are horrific. Her birthday…Mother’s Day. But the worst day of all? June 13 of every year. Five years have passed, and I still cannot make it through that week, that day, without breaking down. Losing Aja was losing Lisa. I will never again be the same Lisa that I was June 12, 2013.

Pam Cole

I came out of the shower, and my husband told me to sit on the bed. He had something to tell me, and in my heart, somehow, I knew before he spoke. He said he just saw on the news she was murdered. It still hurts so much to even think about. He pulled behind her as she was leaving for work, got out of the car, and went to the front of her car and shot her in the forehead and heart. Then the coward killed himself.

She was my son’s first babysitter. All her relationships were abusive. I tried to help, but she tried to save these broken men. Anne, I love you.

LaTonya Boyd

October 13, 2009, my life changed forever. My 21-year-old daughter Tyesha was murdered by the father of her two daughters. She and a friend of hers was shot to death. The person who shot and killed Tyesha should not have been able to have a gun; he had committed a crime against a woman as a teenager, and he also had been in jail for domestic violence. He used a stolen gun. It’s smart to keep guns under lock and key with ammo in another place, under lock and key as well.

Tyesha was moving back to Kansas to get away from him. She just got done with getting her CNA and she wanted a safe environment for her 6-month-old daughter Jae’Briona and Koriona, who was 2 1/2 at the time. Tyesha was loved by every one; she is very much missed in our family.

I don’t want any other family to go through what my family has. Gun violence is very devastating. We must make better laws and enforce the ones we have. Tyesha’s bright green eyes will not be dimmed by her murder and her voice will be heard… Tyesha was a beautiful glamour girl. She loved life. She loved family, and this is what I think got her killed for not leaving sooner. I Wear Orange in memory of Tyesha and many others who are killed with guns every day…

If you know some one who is in a domestic violence relationship, please share the Domestic Violence hotline number, 1-800-799-7233. This is nationwide…