September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.  Read and share stories to honor survivors whose loved ones died by gun suicide.

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Jeani Garcia

In honor of Kareem Fedd Mother2Mother Inc

On August 24, 2012, I came home from work and found my 17-year-old son, Kareem Fedd, lying cold and lifeless in his bed. His nose and mouth were bloody, and he looked as if he were sleeping.

At that moment, I had no idea that my son had been shot multiple times as he slept in his own bed. It wasn’t until we got to the hospital, and the emergency room team of doctors notified me that my son had succumbed to his injuries, that I asked, “What injuries?” and they said, “multiple gunshots.” I was in shock—still am, most days.

It took five years and 11 months before an arrest was made; it was a rival gang member who murdered my son. The investigation was led by me. I have learned so much about a failed system—more like a system designed for the children in my community to fail! It’s either from the cradle to the cage or the cradle to the grave.

I have become a credible messenger with Zero Youth Violence, a nonprofit organization in my community, president of the Ortiz Ark Foundation and the founder of Mother2Mother Inc, a support group.

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