Families find safe space to grieve after losing loved ones to gun violence

Jamiese Price Image
Friday, October 20, 2023
Families of gun violence victims find safe space to grieve
'Your life is different when you lose a loved one'

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's hard for Stephanie Hill to talk about her son, 18-year-old Jahar Hill, and the last moments she saw him alive.

"My son was with me at 5 0'Clock, him and his best friend. They left the house and 22 minutes later I got a phone call stating that he was in an accident," she said.

Raleigh Police said Jahar was shot in the head before crashing into a Raleigh home in August 2022.

"I screamed from the top of my lungs. And this baby, this dog right here is something he will sleep with every night. And I just held it and cried and cried and cried," Hill said.

Thursday she was joined by other grieving families impacted by gun violence in Raleigh, hoping to lean on each for support. Each family member held candles in their honor.

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"Your life is different when you lose a loved one, especially as traumatic and as mine," she said.

Scottie Barnes, the founder of Katch the Kite Youth Outreach, and Tim Prince, behind Team Truth 919 non-profit, organized the memorial event.

Barnes said it's a calling to give back.

"I grew up. I was in the streets for a long time. I changed my life. And this is just a call on the mind to give back to my community," he said.

Barnes said the memorial event shows there's more work to be done.

"I think this is the beginning of a healing process for our community as a whole," he said.

The Raleigh natives are hoping to create a community of mourners, who are bonded by tragedy, heal by love.

"Together we can reach more and we can keep, we can teach more people that, you know, coming out talking about your problems instead of keeping that stuff inside," said organizer Tim Prince.

It's the support Hill holds onto tightly knowing her grief won't leave her anytime soon.

"I'm just hoping we can start a healing and grieving process together because it's going to be a lifetime," she said.

Through Barnes and Prince's non-profits, they are launching family support groups and teen talk Tuesdays

The first teen talk is scheduled for November 14 at Tarboro Road Community Center from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.