NEW YORK (PIX11) — Doctors at Northwell Health say gun violence is a public health crisis. That’s why they created the Center for Gun Violence Prevention and continue to bring parents who lost their kids to gun violence, together.
“It’s unfortunate that I’m a survivor of gun violence three times,” said Shenee Johnson, who lost her 17-year-old son, Kedrick Morrow, in May of 2010. He was shot and killed at a graduation party in Queens and was just a week away from graduating high school.
“I get frustrated around his birthday and anniversary of his death, but I can’t give up I have three sons, I can’t,” Johnson said.
Linda Beigel-Schulman’s son was a teacher and cross country coach who lost his life during the Parkland school mass shooting in Florida in 2018.
“He was shot six times within three seconds from five feet away,” Beigel-Schulman said Tuesday. “I can’t believe we are still here today and we have not passed federal legislation so this can stop.”
Those were just some of the voices of parents who lost children to gun violence who spoke at Northwell Health’s Center for Gun Violence Prevention event in New Hyde Park.
Michael Dowling, president of Northwell Health, said when there is physical harm from gun violence, people go to hospitals, and when families have mental health issues resulting from losing a family member, they also end up at medical facilities. He called it a public health crisis.
Back in April, a Northwell employee was shot and killed in a medical office parking garage on Long Island, and officials say there have been other gun-related incidents at its hospital facilities.
Families who lost loved ones to gun violence say every time they hear about another shooting or another young life lost to gun violence, they relieve their own loss.
“Everything needs to change,” Johnson said.
“For those of them who will not vote for federal legislation, I think they should go with the families and ID bodies and see what it’s really like, added Beigel-Schulman.