Victory Over Violence: Families of murder victims in Columbus plead for violence to end

Victory Over Violence: Families of murder victims in Columbus plead for violence to end

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Imagine picking up the phone and finding out your loved one has been murdered.

Each of these families received that call. Now, they’re working through their pain in hopes of making sure others won’t have to share their feelings.

With two murders just this week, the group is calling for action. They want you to sit down with your children, listen to their stories, and start a conversation about violence.

Eight people with a rare bond. A bond no family ever expects to share.

“He was killed September 23 at the Circle K," Tanya Weaver said.

“Shot him in the back three times," Marcia Denson said. "Instantaneous death.”

“They shot him February 8,” Wendy Phillips recalled. "that left him paralyzed. It messed up a lot, and he transitioned home on the 15th.

Five mothers, one brother, and every single one lost their loved one to violence.

  • Hulieo Pace, 15 years old
  • Branden Denson, 32
  • Ronnie Brooks Jr., 24
  • Jerrica Spellman, 29, and her three children
  • Dontrell Williams, 26
  • Montrell Johnson, 18

“The day you did that to their sons, that day is forever sketched in their brains," James Freeman said. "They will never forget the way it sounds when a person called them and told them the information they gave them. They will never have another normal day. For them, you just distorted time. I saw my mama wailing on the floor, like making sounds I didn’t even know a person can make.”

Now, these families are leaning on each other for support. Weaver developing ‘Mothers Against Gun Violence.’ The goal is to make people stop and think before they act.

“Also, my pet peeve is think about it, if you’re mad today, will you be mad 30 days from now,?" Pace said. "If you’re mad today, will you be mad 30 days from now? 20 days from now? 5 years from now? If you are, then you’re the one who got the problem. We’ve got to learn to agree and disagree.”

They want you to remember, from the youngest to the oldest, many people are scarred for life with each murder.

Denson’s mother recalls one moment with her grandson that will stay in her mind forever.

“Meemaw just kill me. I’ll trade lives with daddy. I’ll sacrifice my life for my daddy to come back. He was six years old," Denson said.

In each of these cases, at least one person is being held responsible for the murder.

But now, the group is about prevention. These moms said if you need help or just to talk, reach out to them on Facebook.

Mothers Against Gun Violence Roundtable

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