Columbus mothers speak out after losing their children to gun violence

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Tanya Weaver is the mother of the late Dontrell Williams. A Circle K employee who was gunned down in late September while working an overnight shift. Weaver says although it hurts she continues to fight in honor of her son.

“I have formed an organization called moms against gun violence. Today is my first official rally,” Weaver said.

Weaver says this is her the first step to bring the community together and address its issues. She says rallies like this are well needed not only in Columbus, but everywhere and she plans to go city-city.

“It’s well needed for the mothers that are suffering who feel like people don’t care. I’m here to show them that people do care,” Weaver said.

Weaver placed a rose on each seat for the mothers who share the same pain as her. Marica Denson is the mother of Branden Denson who was killed this past April.

“Although I’m getting stronger that hole in my heart will never ever leave,” Denson said.

Lisa Johnson is the mother of Montrell Johnson who was killed two months ago.

“I instantly started praying, God please, please God please don’t let this be my baby,” Johnson said.

City officials who attended the rally said to tackle gun violence it takes them and the entire community. Muscogee County Sheriff Donna Tompkins says she knew Williams personally. She says knowing that the homicide count has surpassed last year’s rate with 35 deaths this year she is concerned but still has hope in our community.

“You know as far as Dontrell he was just at work doing his job. Just really a victim an innocent victim and I think that shocks a community, but I’ve said this before too that I’m glad I still live in a community where things like that shock us. That we don’t take that for granted that’s not an everyday occurrence,” Tompkins said.

Following the rally, everyone released a balloon in remembrance of a loved one they have lost.

Weaver says she will be starting a scholarship for a male student at Columbus State University in honor of her son who was a sophomore attending the university.

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