Goonette

My daughter, Shirley Goonette McKenzie, was shot and killed at the Cockpit on Berryhill Road, on June 7, 2014. We are still fighting for justice for her. I know people know who killed my daughter. Out of 200 people in that club, somebody knows something. My daughter was there with a female that claimed she was her friend, but she never was. A real, true friend would never leave her there, lying on the floor with a gunshot wound to the head. There are some coldhearted people in this world who know what happened but don’t care. If it were a loved one of theirs, they would want justice.

My daughter, Shirley Goonette McKenzie, had a heart of gold and would do anything for anybody. My daughter deserves justice. So much pain: I, as her mother, and sisters, brother, family, have been talking to investigators, and they have all stopped calling me. In my heart I feel like they have pushed my daughter’s case to the side. This makes me truly heartbroken, with so much pain and tears. Mother loves you, baby girl, Shirley Goonette McKenzie. Justice for you.

JustUS4Jordan

Jordan was our third and last child: an avid athlete, a star basketball player and amateur boxer! So handsome, tall and muscular! He was the comedian of our family and would “rank” on anybody just to make me and his daddy laugh! On November 4, 2019, someone shot and killed our 24-year-old Jordan, taking him from us, his sister, his brother and his two-year-old son, Legend.

Life is now complicated; although we know who killed Jordan, the person or persons have yet to be arrested. Here’s the take I now have: I have forgiven this lost soul who pulled the trigger, for whatever reason they felt the need to do so. I forgive them for the act because I know that, had they known who they were killing, they would not have done so. That said, when the story is told and when justice comes to the surface, I just want the person to “get it”—to understand that a gun solves nothing and that using one only creates more pain, and not only for the person’s life you took.

Celeste Iroha

My first experience with gun violence was when I was about 12 to 14 years old. My cousin was shot and killed in Washington, D.C., after trying to leave a gang he had joined and see about having a better life. When he had gotten his life back on track, they shot and killed him anyway for trying to leave. I had to attend his funeral with my family and see my family’s pain, as he was my cousin. They haven’t found his killer even to this day, even though his father is a lawyer. I never wanted to experience that pain ever again, but only more came along the way.

A high school friend I graduated with in 2014 was murdered on his front doorstep during his 21st birthday weekend. No one was caught, and his name vanished from the news of his death.

I have lost multiple people, both loved ones and friends, but I have been advocating for change in this country within this worldwide epidemic known as gun violence.

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.

Donald Hughes

On Good Friday, April 6, 2012, my family’s life changed forever. My husband came home from grocery shopping for Easter dinner, and as he closed our back door, he was shot. Just a random act of violence that shattered our lives. No one has ever been brought to justice. I joined Moms Demand Action to be a voice.

Heartbroken

My beautiful, kind, sweet mom was murdered on August 2, 1984. Someone broke into our family home and shot her three times. Her killers have never been caught. They took her purse and the jewelry she was wearing. A life taken away for nothing. My mom was full of life and generous beyond measure. Smart and so funny. Our home was always the gathering place. She made everyone feel welcome.

Victoria Hicks

My life changed for a second time on September 10, 2019. My son was 20 years old and killed by someone that was supposed to be his friend. There are all kinds of stories flying around, but I won’t know until the trial. His murderer was cold-hearted and didn’t care. He chose whether my son lived or died.

Tre will never be able to give me grandbabies, get married or start his clothing line. Tre was a lovable son, big brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, etc. He loved everyone and always kept a smile on his face. He was a talented young man.

Tre was killed in front of my sister and her family. I had to find out through messenger or Facebook. It already surfaced when my mom called me at 12:10 p.m. His grandmother had to find out on Facebook. That’s not what I wanted; I just needed my privacy at that very moment. I couldn’t see my son until that Friday, when he came home.

He is very missed, and visiting his grave is so hard. Losing Tre has made me look at life differently, and I’m not the same person I was almost eight months ago.

Alex Zuban

My sister Kate was my best friend. She was just two years older, and we grew up together. Just like all sisters, we played house, made up dances in the living room, played sports together, and were in the same schools all our lives. Kate was 33 when she was shot in the head while sitting on a bench with her friend in the Cleveland Metropark at 5:08 p.m. on June 4, 2019. They have not found their murderer.

Kate was a dynamic, caring, humorous person without a single enemy. Kate’s first CDs were No Doubt, Coolio and Alice in Chains; I use that description to explain how she loved everything. In this past year, my family and I can’t fathom why someone would want to harm our Kate. Not a day goes by that I don’t long to see her.

Eventually, when our wounds are a bit more “healed,” I plan to inspire change in Metropark mandates to have more cameras and license-plate readers on all their entrances. Whoever was wielding the gun on June 4, 2019, is still out there, and we need a change so that person can never have access to a gun.

Marques

I was only 25 when my cousin was struck by a stray bullet due to nearby gang violence. She wasn’t killed instantly but did die in my arms at the scene. She was only 16. She told me, with her last few breaths, to make sure this never happened to anyone else. It has been my duty to do whatever is necessary to honor my cousin’s name. It’s also to ensure that no one else has to feel the pain that I do everyday. I honor her every day by staying strong. Miss you Julia!!

Love always,
Marques

Latrice Murray

I lost my 17-year-old son, Darreon Murray, in a drive-by shooting after his last basketball game, 11 days before his 18th birthday. He was due to graduate and go off to college. Instead we were planning a funeral. On March 7, 2009, at 1:15 a.m., my life changed forever. My son become the 21st homicide of 2009. It will be 11 years this March, and my son’s homicide is still unsolved.