Birmingham mother loses 3 sons to violence, prepares to bury son and nephew killed Labor Day weekend

Vigil held for shooting victims, mother has lost three sons to violence
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 8:33 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2022 at 9:44 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The family of cousins killed while sitting in a car in Inglenook during the holiday weekend held a vigil for them Wednesday night in Inglenook Park.

WBRC FOX6 News spoke to the mother of one of the victims who said he was the third son she’s lost to violence in Birmingham.

Theta Johnson raised five boys in the Inglenook community. Now, she only has two left. Three of them lost to violence. The most recent, 32-year-old son Rodriquez Powell shot to death just blocks away.

Theta Johnson said, ”That’s my knee baby. The one I thought would never leave me.“

Theta Johnson said she holds it together by faith. That’s the only thing she says that has helped her through as she prepares to bury her third son.

Johnson: “he showed love wherever he went. That’s just how I taught him. what I told him, he showed. (Sighs)”

Cousins 32-year-old Rodriquez “Dreke” Powell and his cousin 35 year old Justin Taylor were gunned down while sitting in a car on Inglenook St., Saturday afternoon.

Powell was a father of two girls, and Taylor had five children.

Talking about Justin Johnson said, “Yes, we were close.” “That was my heart. He loved his auntie.”

Johnson buried her first son in 2005. Jacoba Powell was 23 when he was shot by an off-duty police officer she says.

And in 2013, her second son Emanuel Powell, at just 22, was stabbed to death during an argument.

Johnson says she’s channeling her pain and faith for good, helping other mothers who have lost children to violence.

Johnson said, “This is what God is doing right now. Everything I am going through, or went through, its for me. It’s for me to help somebody else. "

The cousins will have a joint homegoing service.

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