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In memory of Imario M. Ballard

My son Imario was shot and killed in a drive-by on September 15, 2018, in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. Imario was standing in the street, leaning inside the car of his godbrother, when a car came down the street and shot him. Imario was the second oldest of nine. He was a fun-loving son, brother, uncle, friend and had just recently became a granddad in April. His hobby was working on cars.

My mind constantly takes me back to when I received that call saying he had been shot. I arrived at the hospital to be met by the chaplain (I didn’t know who she was until afterwards) and was taken into a room with my other children who had arrived before me. Next, doctors, nurses, security and detectives entered the room. The doctor sat by me and said, “When your son was brought in, he didn’t have a heartbeat or pulse. We opened him up to resuscitate him but were unsuccessful.” It felt like my heart stopped, as I was gasping for air. It was unbelievable that my son was no longer here.

My godson said his last words were, “Call My Mama.”

His case is unsolved. #EndGunViolence

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.