By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A mother who lost her child to gun violence is creating a place of peace in the community where he was killed.

Terrell Mayes Jr. was shot as he ran for cover when gunfire erupted near 26th and Colfax almost 10 years ago.

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Marsha Mayes hopes to create a garden where families can gather, grieve and find peace.

“I see a place where kids is going to be this summer watching movies on a projector,” Mayes said.

Mayes has a dream of creating a place of peace in the area where gun violence took the life of her 3-year-old son, Terrell Mayes Jr.

“I don’t want no shooting, I don’t want no negativity, no none of that,” Mayes said.

This is not just for her but also for other families living with that same loss.

“It will be 10 years in December that no one has spoken or said a word or this person has not turned themselves in. I don’t want KG, I don’t want Raishawn to keep feeling that type of pain,” Mayes said.

Mayes believes this garden will help activist KG Wilson and Raishawn Smith. One lost a granddaughter, the other a daughter, to gun violence.

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She also wants a place for the parents of Ladavionne Garrett to come and reflect and feel love from the community.

She wants everyone to feel welcome and take part in keeping the space safe for all to enjoy.

“Anytime you build community spaces for people to gather and build relationships with each other you start to build a stronger village, a stronger community,” said Roxxanne O’Brien.

Community Members for Environmental Justice Coalition and Juxtaposition Arts helped get the lease for the garden space.

“Looking for community members to take ownership of the space and just help keep it clean, keep the plants watered that we’ve planted so far,” O’Brien said.

Mayes’ vision includes something for all, but she needs help to make it reality.

“I need volunteers, I need donations, I need a fire pit, I need rakes, I need brooms, I need more flowers, I need more kids to come out, I need more parents to come out,” Mayes said.

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Volunteers meet near 26th and Colfax Mondays at noon to get the garden ready for the grand opening set for July 29. Mayes hopes people from all over come to help.

Reg Chapman