ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — As the fight to reduce gun violence continues in the Star City, local gun violence prevention group, “FEDUP,” held their annual prayer breakfast for those who have lost loved ones to gun violence.
“It pisses us off, and we are tired of wrestling with our emotions of how to deal with it day after day, it’s not fair,” said event speaker, Bishop J Jackson.
In less than one year, 18 people have died from gun violence in Roanoke. Families gathered to remember lost loved ones on Saturday, June 3.
Among them is Sylvia Kasey, whose son, Alvin, was killed two years ago.
“He would do anything for anybody, give a person the shirt off his back, and he was just [taken] away, just token away from us,” said Kasey.
She says not a day goes by when she doesn’t think of him.
“Me being his mother, I miss him every day, every day,” said Kasey.
Joining Kasey at the event was Alvin’s brother and youngest daughter, who will never get to meet her father, as he was killed before she was born.
“Put them guns down. Got a problem talk to your parent, talk to your pastor, your counselor at school, we just need this to stop in Roanoke,” said Kasey.
President of “FEDUP” Rita Joyce, says they offer resources including counseling and support groups with people who understand what victims’ families are going through.
“Gun violence has no respect of person, it can happen to any family, so until it happens to you really do not understand the impact that it does on the families left behind,” said Joyce.
The prayer breakfast honored all those men and women who have an empty seat at their table, because of the actions of others.
“Once a loved one is lost to gun violence, everybody else forgets, but the families do not forget,” said Joyce.
Joyce says “FEDUP” holds a monthly support group open to anyone impacted by gun violence… more information can be found on their website.