Growing up within the inner cities of South Florida, I am no stranger to gun violence. I’ve lost several siblings due to the ever-evolving gun violence epidemic; however, no amount of loss could prepare me for the tragic murder of my eldest son, Jack Pernell Brown III.
On December 26, 2010, Jack, having recently moved to Overtown, decided to walk to a local convenience store to purchase a few necessities. Surely, a few requests thrown in the mix as he was a loving and devoted father to seven young children. Before nearing the store, Jack was seen having a verbal dispute with an unknown man. Not wanting the altercation to escalate any further, Jack proceeded to enter the store and go about his business. As Jack exited the store, this same man shot Jack from behind. He sustained a cervical spine injury, causing severe paralysis, and ultimately, he succumbed to his injuries 623 days later at the age of 31.
Since my son’s senseless murder, my faith has been the bedrock behind my commitment to advocate against violence. I’ve founded a nonprofit organization, Survivors Affected By Violence, to provide community services geared towards violence prevention.