A Hartford mother is calling for an end to violence days after her son became the city's latest homicide victim.
Family members, friends and neighbors of Jonathan Whaley, 34, gathered for a vigil Tuesday night outside his Elliot Street home in Hartford.
Whaley was shot to death outside the home early Saturday morning, becoming the city's 18th homicide victim of the year.
His mother, Adele Turner, is now calling for witnesses to come forward.
"[I'm] very broken up, and I feel that justice needs to be done. It doesn't make sense. I mean, everybody's losing a child by guns. Something has to be done," Turner said before the vigil started.
Whaley's picture lined the fence along with seven balloons, one from each of his young children, that read, "I love you, Daddy."
Relatives say Whaley's youngest child, just 4 years old, saw his father fall to the ground after he was shot.
"They took my brother. My brother. He left little kids. He left young kids behind," said the victim's sister, Ruth Whaley.
Because of a recent spike in crime, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra requested help from the state last week.
Three state police detectives and a sergeant are now helping out, and the state Department of Correction is also helping track down wanted criminals on probation or parole.
"It's good. They need it. They should have had it... before it got this far," said Turner.
As the vigil wrapped up, Whaley's children released their balloons into the air, surrounded by family and friends.
"I hope that they catch the person. That's all I can hope for, that I pray that they catch the person," said Turner.
Hartford police say they have solid leads in the case and hope additional witnesses come forward. There have been no arrests at this point.