On Tuesday, families of those who lost a loved one in Hartford hosted a walk to end the violence after the killings of a 3-year-old and 16-year-old last month.
The Mother's United Against Violence hosted the walk to discuss changes needed inside Hartford. They invited Congressman John Larson on the walk to showcase the areas where some of the gun violence has happened over the years.
Donnie Williams joined Mothers United Against Violence shortly after her losing her son. The recent killings of 3-year-old Randell Jones and 16-year-old Jamari Preston are still hard to comprehend.
"It's sad you know especially with a little one who is innocent and really doesn't know what's happening," said Williams.
The mothers participating in the walk are bonded together after losing their loved ones to gun violence.
"It's a club that we don't want anybody to join and sadly, so many mothers and fathers are joining the club," said Williams.
The group marched side by side throughout the North End neighborhood in Hartford with Congressman John Larson. Each stop along the way highlighted an area where a victim was gunned down.
"This is by sheer will that we are existing through this entire epidemic, pandemic and all of the gun violence, all of the violence that takes place in our community," said Deborah Davis, an organizer with Mothers Untied Against Violence who also lost her son 12 years ago. "I know what it's like to use a child and how it feels without the resources or the support so that's why I show up every day."
The priority Tuesday was to let elected officials know what's happening in the community and offer suggestions to improve the conditions in underserved communities.
"I'm talking about the poverty, the lack of jobs and the lack of education," said Rev. Henry Brown, who helped created the organization. "We need to fix this in our community and no one is doing anything about it."
Congressman Larson joined the walk and says there are already plans from the city and state leaders to help combat violence.
"I commend Mayor Bronin who says he will be setting aside money for violence," said Rep. Larson. "It's long overdue the heartache is unending."
The group also believes more programs need to be provided to underserved communities which they say may help reduce the risk of people turning to crime to survive.
"There is a lack of economic development, housing, resources for jobs, education and a lack of mental health," said Deborah Davis. "There needs to be more programs for these kids that's out there with these guns," said Donnie Williams.