Darius Small

My son Darius Small Sr., was murdered on February 22, 2016. His killer is not doing time for my son’s murder. He is doing only eight years for robbery and aggravated robbery. He is currently doing 10 years for the gun and bullets used in the robberies and murder.

I miss him so much. It has been four years, but it hurts worse each year. Darius would’ve been 30 on March 5. He left a memory with us: his son Darius Jamal Small Jr. Please keep me and my family in your thoughts and prayers.

My baby, my son, my protector, my everything

April 17, 2020, was the worst. My son was murdered. My son, Stephen, just got off of work. He walked to the store. Three guys walked past him first and called my son over to them, like they were going to talk to him. Then my son saw them reaching in their jackets. He saw they were reaching for guns. My son took off running. Before he even got far, all three of them gunned my son down. They took everything away from me when they did that. They took everything away from his siblings; I mean everything. My son was so friendly. He had a really good heart. We miss him so much. It really hurts….


Hello all. I tell my story because it is a part of my life. I live with it for the rest of my life. My son’s life matters. All lives matter. When his life was taken, mine was taken as well. Being a mother of four and to lose your baby is the worst nightmare; I am still in a fog.

I want the guns out of the wrong folks’ hands, which take away lives that matter. How do we stop this? Each and every day I am reminded of my child. What would his life have been today?

Life After Death is a support group here in the city of Brockton for people who have lost their loved ones to guns without purpose. However, guns do not kill, people do.

I will keep my son’s legacy alive. This is why I brought forth this wonderful support group: a safe place to cry, laugh. Scream. Eat. Cry more, smile and learn how to grieve. And no, it’s not OK…


My daughter called. She told me that she and her date were told to get on the ground. The guns at their heads were cocked and ready. They waited for the thieves to finish. Was this the end? The only thought was the guns and how they would die. When would they pull the trigger? My stomach dropped like never before.

We both have PTSD. She was robbed of her fierce independence. Years later, it is coming back. She’s a real fighter. I am becoming a warrior to help end gun violence.

That night will always be with us. It is with us every night. Just one “click” away. I pray for all that heard that click, and all the heartache that it has caused for them.

Samantha Murphy

My beautiful Samantha was born on June 12, 1987. I was a single parent and had no doubt in my mind about the love I shared for her, from the time she was in my belly. She made me a better person. She was a loving, generous person. Her laugh, from the time she could laugh, was always loud and boisterous. She made everyone around her happy.

Samantha was just starting to love her life as a mother of a beautiful baby girl when her life was taken. She was eager to start a career in coding, prior to her traumatic death. Samantha was not a person to club hop or stay out late all the time. One of her “new friends” enticed her to go out the night of the horrible event. A fight broke out at the club, and gunfire spilled out in the street. Samantha was shot in the head and left to die in the parking lot.

Her daughter’s birthday was the next day; she was going to be two. My Samantha succumbed seven days later. We donated her organs, and she saved many. She died a hero. Her baby is my love now.

Charles W. Reid (Chuck)

When I loss my firstborn and only son to gun violence, it broke my heart, but thanks to my faith in God and the support of Moms Demand Action, it didn’t break me! I have joined the fight to end gun violence in our communities.

This was my first year attending Gun Sense University, and I’m so excited! I learned so much about gun violence, and I am now equipped with my Gun Violence Toolkit, to do the work! I look forward to using these tools to help other families through the Charles W. Reid Community Help Center in honor of my son Chuck. I can honestly say to others “I am not alone.”

Ruthanne Lodato

I was a junior in college, studying abroad in Switzerland, when I received word that I needed to call home immediately. It would be the worst phone call of my life. I was told that my mom was murdered at our home in Alexandria, when she answered the front door. It seemed so impossible that my mom, a music teacher and church organist, could be killed randomly in our safe neighborhood.

The last time I saw my mom was at the airport, a month earlier. I had cried while saying goodbye, and she had told me not to worry—that I would have the time of my life, and that she and my dad would be over to visit soon. The planned visit in March never happened. My mom didn’t get to see me graduate from college, see my sister get married, or meet her four grandchildren. She won’t be here to see me get married or have kids one day. She won’t grow old with my dad, like she was supposed to. Senseless gun violence stole her from us. I miss her every single day.


I couldn’t wait to have my Julian. He IS my greatest joy. I remember when he started preschool and how he would always help the little girls zip up their coats or when ran out of his shoe playing football as he surprised himself intercepting the ball. I remember his kindness towards others, his laughter and how much he loved his family and friends. How much he loved me. He was my rock and my reason to stay strong after losing his dad. He attended St. Paul’s school, where he learned about Jesus and the Bible until eighth grade and then attended and graduated high school. He was active in sports and played soccer, basketball and football. But most importantly, he was kind and looked out for others who were less fortunate or just needed a hand. He was funny, thoughtful and a bit stubborn.:) His life was taken at just 20 years old by three thugs who were out to rob him and his friend. He will forever be loved and missed by his family, friends and especially by me, his mom. I love you Julian James Patterson!

Jawon Buddha Carter

My son lost his life to gun violence. The perpetrators just shot up a public place, and my son was one of the victims that passed away. This has hit my family very hard. He was the baby of my children.

Depression is real. I have started a nonprofit organization in his name to bring awareness to the ways gun violence in families brings on mental health challenges and to help other families. Jawon will live on in our hearts.


My son, Brandon D. Williams, left home one evening on June 23, 2019. He was murdered in a mass shooting outside Kelly’s Pub in South Bend, Indiana, while hosting a birthday party. Eleven people were shot that night; my son took the fatal shot to the head.

People ask me how I felt about my child being the only one who did not survive. The Lord spoke to me and said, “If it wasn’t your child, then which person should it have been?” I never questioned it again because I would not want anyone to wear these shoes that I’m now walking in.

I didn’t see Brandon again after that night, until the day before his funeral. I was not allowed to go into the hospital (ER) for hours due to the number of victims from the shootings. I couldn’t hold him or touch him to tell him I love him or just say goodbye.

I will never see my son on this Earth again. Yet I have hope that one day we will be together again.