Alesia R. Watson

My son, Kevin Leonard Fulton, was shot in the back by an Uber driver on the morning of June 23, 2021, in Atlanta. He was 34 years old, a father of a three-year-old son (Britain Banks), a recent graduate of Morehouse College and an actor who just recently gained a role as an extra in the Netflix series “Ozark.” He was a loving son, nephew, grandson and brother.

His death was senseless and didn’t have to happen. He was sharing an Uber ride with two other individuals. The Uber driver dropped them at a gas station, and as they were walking away, the Uber driver shot my son in the back and shot the other individual, who survived. The third individual was not injured.

Kevin was on his way to becoming a great actor and an entrepreneur. He was so excited about his future.

We will truly miss Kevin, but we will advocate on his behalf to take the guns off the streets.

Frances Hunter

When I was 14, my mother was shot and killed by a neighbor. Twenty-five years later, my oldest son was killed.

Sean Michael Acierno

In mid-March 2021, while walking to his car to go home, my son was shot and killed by two brothers shooting at a bar. My life has forever changed, and I miss him daily. He had a good job at Swagelok, and he was getting ready to purchase his first home and move back to his high-school hometown, Brooklyn, Ohio.

Sean had a grand personality, a warming smile; he loved sports and even dancing. He was there to help anyone who needed it. Just two months after his passing, I spoke with the staff at his high school to start a memorial fund in his name. It honors his memory and brings awareness to gun violence while still helping someone further their education, as Sean would approve.

My family and I will continue funding this scholarship till the end of our days!

Tracie R. Garnett

Devin was intelligent, witty and full of life. Being his mother was an honor and a joy. Devin was in Delaware, starting his third year of college, when his life was cut short by senseless violence.

On September 27, 2020, Devin attended a party at a park. Shots were fired, and he was hit by a stray bullet. I received the call that changed my life forever: “Aunt Tracie, we were at a party, and Devin got shot.” We traveled to Delaware to be with him, but he died on September 28, 2020.

Devin was robbed of a bright future filled with love and happiness, and I was robbed of my opportunity to watch my child reach his full potential. Devin didn’t get to celebrate his 21st birthday; he will not graduate from college, find love, or raise a family.

I’m heartbroken, and it’s hard to believe he is really gone. I’m doing my best to carry on without him. I pray that Devin is smiling down on us from Heaven and that he knows he is loved forever and sorely missed.

No arrests have been made as of this post (June 2021).

Barbara Green

My daughter, Kimberle, was a victim of a homicide three days after her 21st birthday, which is Christmas Day. Kim was a junior in college, with a goal of being a social worker. She’s my only child;  her death has changed my life, as well as the lives of many of her friends and family! She will be forever missed, and I take solace in knowing we will be together again…

Jamarcus JU JU Esmon

My life changed forever on June 27, 2020: I received a phone call that my son had been shot. Of course I thought he would be OK, but as I was on my way to him, I got the call that he didn’t make it. The pain and hurt that went through my entire body was one I don’t wish on anyone.

Jamarcus leaves behind a four-year-old daughter and family and friends that love and miss him daily. To help me with my grief and to leave a legacy in honor of Jamarcus, I started the Live Like JU Foundation, which gives back to the community and is getting involved with gun violence awareness.

Jamal

The son of Mr. and Mrs. Shakir M. (Christy) Rashed, Jamal M. Rashed was killed on July 29, 1994. My son Jamal was 17 years old and an upcoming senior at Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, president of the Black Achievers Program, mentor with the Henry Branch YMCA and a Sewanee Scholar. Jamal’s ambition was to become an architectural engineer and build the Rashed Towers in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In his memory we set up the Jamal M. Rashed Memorial Scholarship Fund, Inc., a nonprofit organization. He had one sister, Kamilah. Jamal had a smile that could light up the sky and a heart full of love for everyone.

His death has changed our lives forever.

Imario Ballard

My son Imario was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting on September 15, 2018, in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. Imario was standing in the street, leaning inside the car of his godbrother, when a car came down the street and someone shot him. Imario was the second oldest of nine. He was a fun-loving son, brother, father, uncle, friend and had just recently became a granddad in April. His hobby was working on cars.

My mind constantly takes me back to when I received the call saying he had been shot. I arrived at the hospital and was met by the chaplain (I didn’t know who she was until afterward). I was taken into a room with my other children, who had arrived before me. Next, doctors, nurses, security and detectives entered the room. The doctor sat by me and said, “When your son was brought in, he didn’t have a heartbeat or pulse. We opened him up to resuscitate him, but we were unsuccessful.” It felt like my heart stopped, as I was gasping for air. It was unbelievable that my son was no longer here.

My godson said his last words were, “Call my mama.”

His case is still unsolved.

Angie Jackson-Wilson

My son, John Efrem Wilson, known as Jay to everyone, was murdered on March 23, 2020, in West Virginia, by a coward. We were told he received a call from a friend, asking him to come and get her and her son; she was trying to leave her boyfriend, who was being abusive. When the person who called him was loading her stuff into his car, the cowardly murderer shot him in the head because, as he claimed at his hearing, he was mad that my son had come to take his girlfriend away from him. He did not know my son—never met him—but took his life in a fit of rage at his girlfriend.

My son was one of the kindest people you would have ever met. His loss to our family has been devastating. As his mother, not a day goes by that I am not reminded of him; I relive over and over the senseless way he died. He was an awesome martial arts instructor, and the tributes received after his murder have spoken volumes about the kind of person he was.

Melquain’s Mom

On October 25, 2017, at 8:47 p.m., I not only lost my only child, Melquain Jatelle Anderson, but I lost my mind and soul. I couldn’t bear to live and wake up to just air and wind. I fell so deep into depression that I was committed four times and tried to commit suicide two times over the past three years.

His only child (Melkenzye) was born two months after his murder, and I was so sad that I couldn’t connect. Yes, I love her and wanted her, but I couldn’t stop wanting my son to live. I wasn’t supposed to be holding her; he should be here. I breathe life into his name by giving back to the community and loving on his Melkenzye. His name on paper is all that Melkenzye and I have, and we will try to prevent gun violence via the Melquain Jatelle Anderson Foundation: Fighting Against Gun Violence Via Education.