February 1-7 is National Gun Violence Survivors Week. Join us to honor survivor voices.

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Brenda Kimbley

As a survivor of gun violence, I am furious! My 9-year-old grandson tragically lost his father, Tom, eight years ago, on June 6, 2014, to police violence. This tragedy took not only the child’s biological father, but also his mother: After she also witnessed the horrific events that led to Tom’s death and was so traumatized, she lost custody of her son, who was later adopted to another family through an open adoption.

I am thankful for that family, as they have become a part of ours. They have provided a loving, stable home that he would have lacked from his own family because of the trauma and grief we suffered from witnessing Tom’s death. (He was shot 13 times by police in what sounded like a war zone, while we watched from approximately 60 feet away. A horrendous act perpetrated on a 27-year-old father who would never live to see his son grow up.) It ultimately resulted in my ending a 30-year career as a paralegal, where I helped defend law enforcement officers who shot and killed others. Karma is real, and it calls on us all.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.

217,104