Amid the Black Lives Matter protest, there has been a massive spike in gun voilence cases.
This "Fourth of July," a day that many look forward to as a day of celebration, turned into a nightmare for a few. For six set of parents, this holiday weekend will always be remembered as the time they lost their beloved kids.
July 6 was a day of mourning for these parents whose kids lost their lives to meaningless violence. They were shot and killed doing things they do every day. According to CNN, all victims, aged between 6 to 14-years-old were either walking in a mall, playing in a yard, or merely riding with their mom in a car.
Eight-year-old Secoriea Turner was sitting in the car with her mother when someone open fired on the vehicle on University Ave SW near I-75/85 and killed her. The tragic incident took place in Atlanta on Saturday night.
Mayor Bottoms & Interim Chief Bryant speak on 8-year-old murdered over the holiday weekend. https://t.co/iCjls5QC47— Atlanta Police Department (@Atlanta_Police) July 5, 2020
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in a press conference said, "We're fighting the enemy within when we are shooting each other up in our streets. You shot and killed a baby. And it wasn't one shooter, there was at least two shooters," she said. A reward of $10,000 was announced by Crime Stoppers for information on the case.
Royta De'Marco Giles had just finished his second grade at Jonesboro Elementary School. He was shot and killed in Riverchase Galleria mall, Alabama, on Friday. According to CNN, he was one of four "innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire" between two groups of men.
Dr. Autumm Jeter, Bessemer City Schools superintendent, described the little Giles as a "smart child, who was a jewel, with big dreams of someday entering the music industry." In a statement to CNN, he added, "Our hearts are simply broken at the tragic loss of Giles. We are here for the family in every way possible, and we ask that everyone lifts the mother, family, and our school community in your prayers. This is tough."
In another case, Davon McNeal became a victim to a shooting between a group of five men on Saturday in Washington DC. John Ayala, his grandfather, explained the emotional wreck the incident left behind. "His mom was just crying, 'My baby! They took my baby!'" he said. Ayala, who founded the DC chapter of the Guardian Angels, said that his grandson just wanted to get a phone charger from his aunt's house when his mother heard the gunshots.
She saw him duck and thought he was trying to dodge the bullets but then she noticed the blood and that her son wasn't moving. "She saw he was hit in the head," Ayala said. He passed away before he could reach the hospital.
A mother lost her 11 year old son to gun fire tonight. My thoughts and prayers go out to her and her family.— Muriel Bowser (@MurielBowser) July 5, 2020
We need your help to find those responsible for his murder. Call 202-727-9099 or text 50411 if you have any information about this tragedy https://t.co/njPkQCSPm7
With an announcement of a $25,000 reward for more information, Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted, "The public's help is dire in bringing to justice the perpetrators of the horrendous killing of 11-year old Davon McNeal."
7-years-old Natalia Wallace was "sweet, shy, loving, and good at math," according to her family. While playing on her yard in Chicago's Austin neighborhood, the little girl was shot in the head after three suspects fired shots aimed at a group outside the home, according to the Chicago Police. It took place on the 100th block of North Latrobe Ave.
Natalia's father, Nathan Wallace, told CNN affiliate WBMM, "Kids outside playing, they shouldn't have to worry about guns and people shooting." Addressing the seriousness of the issue, Chief Fred Waller said, "Chicago's heart gets broken again. Austin's heart gets broken again. You got to be tired of this, because d*** it, I'm tired of this."
As families gather to commemorate the founding of our nation, we must ask ourselves: is this who we are as a city or as a country? We cannot grow numb to this. We are making progress in slowing shootings, but we have to do better, every single one of us.— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) July 5, 2020
Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted, "Tonight a 7 year old in Austin joined a list of teenagers and children whose hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun." A 14-year-old was among the four killed in another shooting in Chicago on July 4. "As a city, we must wrap our arms around our youth so they understand there's a future for them that isn't wrapped up in gun violence," read Lightfoot's tweet.
In San Francisco, a 6-year-old boy was a victim of a "senseless homicide." According to the police department, the innocent boy was found suffering from a gunshot wound on Saturday night. "Senseless violence like this that could so tragically claim the life of a small child is unacceptable in our City, and the San Francisco Police Department stands with the Bayview Hunter's Point community in its determination to bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice," said William Scott, Chief of Police in a press release. No arrests were made since there was no suspect description available.
In Chicago, anger boiled over after the July 4 holiday weekend marked the third in a row a child has been the victim of gun violence in the city. https://t.co/3K47sg7TrJ— WSBT (@WSBT) July 6, 2020
According to Giffords Law Centre, 36,00 Americans are killed by gun violence every day. Tougher gun laws can save many innocent lives, especially children who end up tragic victims of meaningless violence.