Hundreds walk in solidarity against gun violence after deadly weekend in Birmingham
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Hundreds of people gathered in Collegeville on Monday night to walk in solidarity against gun violence.
The unity walk began at Maclin Park and ended at the corner of 33rd Terrace North and F.L. Shuttlesworth Drive where 5 year-old Ta’Narius “TJ” Moore Jr. was struck by a stray bullet after getting stuck in the crossfire of a family dispute.
“Why did this have to happen?” TJ’s grandmother Sherie Moore asked. “I always said since my son passed two years ago I still had Ta’Narius and now I don’t have a Ta’Narius anymore.”
Numb and heartbroken, Sherie Moore spoke of losing her son Ta’Narius Moore Sr., TJ’s father, to gun violence just blocks away from where TJ died.
Moore said TJ’s mother was “distraught” and unable to speak. During the walk, a woman was heard screaming, “I can’t do it” as a car drove her away.
It was a violent weekend in Birmingham that involved four additional shooting deaths, including that of 18 year olds Kendall Jamal Shack and Ivey Carter Wilson III, who were killed on Lawson Road and Tucker Ave.
During a candlelight vigil at Brownsville Community Center on Monday, the community also prayed for an end to violence.
“He was a nice, mannerable young man,” Sharon Giddens said of Kendall Shack.
Giddens said Shack was planning to leave for job corps the night he was killed.
“He worked in the church. He was very helpful around at the church, and that’s where I know him from,” said Giddens.
The unity walk was to show those willing to take a life that there are many more who value life.
Birmingham Council President William Parker said the city is ready to do whatever it takes to put an end to the senseless violence.
“Making sure that we provide the necessary tools within our toolbox - whether that’s increasing funding for different social organizations. We need to make sure we embrace our churches. We need to make sure that we have a full scale, all hands on deck approach to this,” said Parker.
Councilman Parker says there are several events planned in the coming weeks to help reach the youth and show them a better way of coping with anger.
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