WAYNESBORO, G.A. (WJBF) – Community members call for a stop to gun violence. The group wants to end violence not just in the City of Waynesboro but across the CSRA.
The day started with a parade downtown. Cars lined up, escorted by Burke County and Waynesboro law enforcement. It ended at the 6th Street Park where several mothers came together, telling their stories of how gun violence changed their lives.
“From the day that I lost Ahmaud, my life has changed,” said Wanda Cooper-Jones.
Those emotional words coming from a mother who knows the impact of gun violence up close.
“Ahmaud was killed back in February 2020 from gun violence slash hate,” said Cooper-Jones.
Wanda Cooper-Jones is the mother of Ahmaud Arbery. Her son’s death was heard across the nation after he was shot and killed while jogging near Brunswick, Georgia, in Glynn County.
“I think it’s very important to get the community together and try to strategize to stop the issues we’re having with gun violence,” said Cooper-Jones.
But she wasn’t the only mother standing in solidarity to end gun violence.
“Back in 2010, I lost my son, Verdre Lamonte Scott, due to gun violence. It was just an act of irresponsible people had guns, and I lost my son to that. He was a husband, uncle, and father,” said Martha Scott.
Martha Scott says these rallies help her to heal.
“It just sad when you hear about people still dying from gun violence and now it’s all over the world,” said Scott.
Lisa Fleming lost her son, just two years ago. She says she was at work when she got that call.
“My sister and nephew came to me at eight o’clock that morning telling me that my son was killed,” said Fleming.
Now, three mothers are making a plea to the community to put the guns down.
“If you are involved in a fight, y’all try to talk it out before you kill someone, like my son,” said Fleming.
And Cooper- Jones leaving these words of advice.
“Love your children, I was a single mom and I often ask myself what did I do wrong, but it’s all about consistency and prayer,” said Cooper-Jones.