COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Mothers in Columbus who are part of a local Moms Against Gun Violence chapter are concerned for the community, after hearing there have been 12 homicides in just the first two months of 2021.
Over the past year, Tanya Weaver has mourned her son’s death. She sets a memorial for her son every other week at the Circle K he was shot at, she helps support other moms who have experienced the same thing she has. Weaver says the one thing that helps her the most is calling on the name Jesus and leaning on the lord.
Weaver started the organization Moms Against Gun Violence after her son Dontrell Williams was shot and killed at the Circle K gas station near the intersection of Forrest and Floyd Roads. The organization is made up of a group of mothers who support each other after they have lost their children to gun violence.
The MAGV holds events like marches, prayer vigils and more to bring awareness to the ongoing violence affecting the community.
After the two homicides that took place on February 12, 2021, Weaver said she received several phone calls from mothers in the area expressing fear and their concern for the community.
Those mothers don’t want other mothers in the community to feel the pain that they have felt when it comes to losing a child. Weaver says hearing about all of the homicides that have already taken place this year, especially in the past week, brought back many emotions for her.
“For me, my compassion just goes all over the place, my emotions just go all over the place. I feel that sinking feeling in my gut once again, after you get that phone call. I feel for them, there’s millions of mothers just like us all around this country and it’s something that you can’t explain,” Weaver said.
Muscogee County officials held a press conference today addressing the homicides that have taken place this year.
Chief of Police Freddie Blackmon emphasized that while there have been 12 homicides, not all of them are murders. A homicide just means that someone died at another person’s hands, regardless of if it was on purpose.
The county has experienced 12 homicides, one of which was involuntary manslaughter and another case that is still under investigation.
Blackmon also said the Sheriff’s Office and CPD can’t do this alone and they need the help of the community. After hearing about the number of homicide victims, Weaver said it made her sad .
“It makes me sad, it makes my heart hurt, it really does. It shows that the community, the city leaders, the government officials, and the police, everybody is going to have to come together,” Weaver said.
Weaver continued that it will take more than one organization and one community leader and that we cannot put the blame on one person. Weaver plans to organize more MAGV events, but she says it’s too dangerous to do any of these events at the moment due to COVID-19.
Still, Weaver plans to continue talking and showing her support for mothers.
Not only is Weaver offering her support to the mothers of victims, she’s also reaching out to the mothers of the children who are committing some of the violence in Columbus.
“My heart goes out to them as well because as a mother, there’s unconditional love there for your child, no matter what they have done. My heart goes out to them as well as the grieving mothers because like you said a lot of them, their children go to prison for the rest of their lives. Do I feel sorry for them, yes, because a lot of them they’re hurting. It’s not the same pain but they’re hurting,” Weaver said.
Along with CPD and the Sheriff’s Department, Weaver is asking members of the community to speak up on crime and talk to law enforcement if they have information about a case.