VICTORY OVER VIOLENCE: Moms Against Gun Violence plans prayer rally in Columbus

VICTORY OVER VIOLENCE: Moms Against Gun Violence plans prayer rally in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - WTVM is committed to helping to bring about change in the community through our solutions-based campaign called Victory over Violence.

While the pandemic has understandably received a lot of attention as of late, crime doesn’t stop for COVID-19.

One life lost to violence is one too many, and unfortunately this year 28 people in Columbus were murdered, according to the coroner’s office. Several mothers who know the pain firsthand are pleading with people committing these crimes to put the guns down.

Police report they see violence in Columbus left and right. Just yesterday, a man almost lost his life because of a stabbing at Auto Zone. Family members of homicide victims said it’s time to stop the senseless violence.

“It was horrible,” said Tanya Weaver. “That’s all I can say. There’s really no word to describe the feeling.”

Weaver’s son, Dontrell Williams, was shot and killed at a Circle K convenience in Columbus. Now an activist, she’s joining together with others who have lost someone to violence, including Marcia Denson who’s son Brandon was murdered at Pizza Hut in 2018.

“As a parent who’s lost a child, I don’t want any other parent, any other sibling, any other child who’s lost their parent to go through this, to go through what I’m going through,” Denson said.

This Saturday, many families who know the pain of murder are coming together to pray for Columbus, and plead for those committing the crimes to put down the guns.

Police report Lisa Johnson’s son was shot and killed alongside his friend while walking down the street.

“You don’t understand the pain you put us parents through,” said Johnson. “This is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life, my baby not being here with me. It hurts.”

Our records show five of the 41 murder victims in 2019 did not sustain gunshot wounds. One of the murders that did not involve a gun was the quadruple murder of Jerrica Spellman and her three young children. Still, her brother and his wife are members of this group against gun violence.

“Gun violence is just as important as any other kind of violence because violence hurts, it really does,” James ‘Renzo’ Freeman said.

“The only change we’re going to see is going to have to be with prayer. The word says to humble yourselves and pray and He will heal the land,” Weaver said.

The prayer vigil starts at 12:30 p.m. this Saturday at the Columbus government center. The mayor will be speaking in addition to the families impacted.

Safety efforts are underway because of COVID-19. “There will be masks worn and we will be at a six feet difference. There will be no holding of hands,” Weaver said.

Police report a majority of the homicides in Columbus include guns, namely handguns, and these moms are begging people to put them down.

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