Meet The Group That Steps In To Stop Gun Violence In St. Louis
ST. LOUIS — Phyllis Curry recollects each hour that clicked by the night of Aug. 28, 2016: the voices of a auto accident precisely blocks from her home in Ferguson, Missouri, the growing feeling that something was wrong, and the string of phone calls she made when she should’ve been getting ready for bed.
“Fifteen minutes, he hasn’t arrived dwelling. I go looking for him. I can’t find him. He’s not answering, ” she said. “Come to find out, after calling the police stations, the hospital and the morgue, my son was at the morgue. He had been shot three times and died on site.”
It’s been almost three years, but the heartbreak is still fresh. Curry uses the corner of her living room to display photographs of her son DeAnthony, along with his awards and basketball jersey.
“My son did not grow up to be a productive adult due to this unfortunate situation, ” she said. “So my knowledge is now like — I exactly need to get the word spread. I need beings to know. I need them to take this serious. It’s like a cancer, and it’s spreading daily.”
According to FBI data, since 2014, St. Louis has had the highest murder rate of any American city with more than 100,000 parties, and brand-new study from the University of Missouri shows the vast majority of these deaths involved a grease-gun.
“Some daytimes I can think about my son and I can’t breathe, I have a panic attack, and some daylights I can giggle and then cry and then laugh again, ” said Sharon Crossland, who has lost multiple family members to gun violence in St. Louis. “More than anything else, I don’t crave another mother to have to experience what we experience every day — to have to live with the thought of losing your child or to have lost your child.”
Curry and Crossland are part of a originating number of express calling for an end to the violence through a nonprofit announced Better Family Life. The administration backings members of the community through a range of streets, including education, living, community service, the arts and an increasingly popular brand-new platform that works to de-escalate gun violence.
“Life was taken for nothing you know? ” said Byron Mischeaux, whose grandson Jirah Campbell was fatally shot in 2016. “But if the person or persons had got together and went to one of the de-escalating centers or somewhere and they talked it out and tried to come up with a better solution, my grandson would still be living.”