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Marcus Tafari Samuel Downer, 23

In memory of Marcus Tafari Samuel Downer

My son Marcus Tafari Samuel Downer was gunned down in Baltimore on Sunday, July 26, 2015. A day I will never forget. I will never forget the phone call informing me that my son was shot. Driving to the scene to observe the yellow tape, ambulance, police officers, detectives, family members and the neighbors on the block looking with hopes that Marcus would survive. But how could he, with a barrage of bullets to his innocent body.

The aftermath is so real. Nights and days I cried, missing my son, his conversations, his smile, his presence and his favorite words, “ I love you, Mom.”

I though I could not survive this tragedy and often ask myself, “What if? Why not me, why my baby son?” and still I could not come up with the answers.

Life now is still sad, and being a victim of gun violence has helped me to have collaborative conversations with other parents of murdered children. It’s given me the opportunity to want to be a change agent, advocating for stricter gun laws and new policies and procedures to ensure another parent will not experience the pain that I endured.

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