NEW YORK (PIX11) — It’s Gun Violence Awareness Month, and communities in New York and New Jersey wore orange on Saturday to fight for a future free from gun violence.
Daville Gardner lost his son Junior in July of 2020 in Brooklyn. His firstborn was just a year old. On Saturday, he spoke at a Unity in the Community event at South Street Seaport.
“Just to lose him, piece of me went with him,” Gardner said.
At the family-friendly event, basketball was combined with the arts for the youth to enjoy. Local leaders and advocates spoke up against gun violence.
“These events during Gun Violence Awareness month let folks know we have to continue to talk about this,” public advocate Jumaane Williams said. “My hope is there’s action behind this, as well.”
In Foley Square, New Yorkers walked in solidarity, in orange, with survivors, calling for an end to all the senseless shootings.
According to the NYPD, shootings are overall down so far this year, compared to the same time last year. Still, families who lost loved ones to stray bullets and continue to hear the gunshots in the neighborhoods say it’s not enough.
“You’re taking away loved ones from so many families,” Gardner said. “I lost my son, a lot of people losing their kids at a young age, too. Just stop.”
The Gardner family said police already made an arrest in the shooting death of their baby, but there are still so many families fighting for justice.