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Vigils To End Gun Violence Held Across The US

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(credit: CBS) Reg Chapman
Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO fr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Communities around the country held vigils Sunday – one year after a deadly shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., that left six dead and 13 wounded, including congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The congresswoman made an appearance Sunday night, leading a crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance at a candle light vigil to honor the shooting victims.

In Minnesota, gun violence is responsible for nearly one death every week. And on the same day the Tucson shooting was remembered, Minneapolis communities took time to remember those who died by bullets in the streets and in their homes.

The vigils held a special place for the children and teenagers taken by gunshot wounds.

In December, 3-year-old Terrell Mayes Jr. died after a seemingly random bullet broke through a wall and struck him in the head. Mayes’ mother, Marsha Mayes, is still in mourning.

“Terrell is in a necklace now. I had my son cremated,” she said. “My son was delivered to me yesterday, and that is not okay.”

She recalled the day her son was shot. She said she had just left the house to buy her son chips and cookies when the bullet struck.

“In the blink of an eye, my son was taken away from me,” she said.

The pain brought by gun violence is something Mayes and her community is still keenly feeling.

Inside Ascension Church on Sunday, people who had lost loved ones to gun violence filled the pews. The names of the lives lost were read and their pictures attached to a remembrance tree.

“We need to stop this violence out here on the streets,” said Cindy Braxton, whose 14-year-old son Quantell was shot in the street while playing tag with friends.

Cindy Braxton is now a part of From Death to Life, one of several organizations working to end gun violence.

Protect Minnesota, Mad Dads and other groups say it will take a collective effort to make a change.

VJ Smith of Mad Dads was at the service and he said that change will only happen when all kinds of people come together to make it happen.

“I believe in exactly what I saw here today: blacks, whites, people of all colors coming together,” he said. “We can’t have the white folks over here doing one thing and blacks over here. We’ve got to come together to have a solution.”

Justice For Terrell Mayes, Jr.
To help Crime Stoppers find the person responsible for killing 30-year-old Terrell Mayes, Jr., click the link below.
Justice For Terrell Mayes, Jr.

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