JOPPA, Md. (WJZ)—An arrest could be around the corner in an unsolved murder from Harford County. The family of a young man killed at a birthday party has been actively seeking justice while helping other families affected by violence.

Adam May has more.

Almost three years after gun shots rang out a private party held at the Joppa Magnolia Fire Hall, the family of Tariq Alston says police are close to making an arrest.

“They told me as far they’re concerned my son’s case is solved,” said Daphne Alston. “It’s going back to the State’s Attorney as of Monday for another review.”

The crime changed Alston forever.

She founded the group MOMS: Mothers of Murdered Sons. Their second annual gathering is sadly bigger than the year before. 

New members share how crime impacted their lives.

“I would never have known about this group if my son wasn’t killed.  He was 16,” said Tamar Pair.

When Dorothy Scriber’s son Lewis was gunned down, he was 29.

“You know it’s a pain that I can’t explain,” Scriber said. “I just need that support because I know these mothers. They know my pain.”

But that feeling is difficult for Pair to acknowledge.

“I don’t really feel comfortable being around a whole group of people of murdered sons,” Pair said. “It’s not a group I want to part of, but I guess I am.”

The group hopes to keep pressure on police to solve murders and change attitudes about violence among youth.

“You can be innocent now and it’s happening,” said Alston. “The black community needs to stop accepting this as a way of life.  This is not a way of life. It’s not God’s will. It never will be, and it needs to stop.”

Police say around 50 people were at the party during Tariq Alston’s murder. They still hope more witnesses will come forward.

Comments (3)
  1. Georgeanna Modlin says:

    May God bless you for helping these wounded survivors know the are not alone in their suffering. I am proud of you.

  2. stationnorth says:

    Thank you Ms. Alston for helping ease the pain of so many mothers. I am sorry you lost your child at such an early age.

    I would like to especially thank you for speaking the truth that “The black community needs to stop accepting this as a way of life. This is not a way of life. It’s not God’s will. It never will be, and it needs to stop.”

    Bless you Ms. Alston

  3. Dawn H. Thomas says:

    Ms. Alston, please give me a call I’m a mother of a murdered son, and would like to attend your events. 202-650-3160.

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