Reporting Derek Valcourt
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– From Baltimore City to Harford County, hundreds of candles will light Friday night in honor of the lives cut short by murder.
Derek Valcourt explains the families of murder victims are hosting simultaneous candlelight vigils.
“On Aug, 30, my son got killed,” Dorothy Scriber said.
“Kevin was 20 years old,” Eddie Johnson, Kevin Johnson’s father, said.
“These guys came out and shot him,” Mildred Samy said.
Five parents are united by the most horrific of crimes.
“They shot Dominic twice in the chest,” Debbie Perry, Dominic Gerard Perry’s mother, said.
Debbie Perry’s youngest son was one of two teenage boys targeted at random in West Baltimore last year.
“This happened July 31. His birthday was Aug, 28. All he kept saying was, ‘I can’t wait for my birthday,’” she said.
Dominic Perry, 15, was one of 196 murders in Baltimore City in 2011. In all, Baltimore City and its five surrounding counties recorded more than 250 murders last year. The numbers were lower than previous years.
“They might be counting numbers in the offices but they’re not counting hearts and parents and the aftermath of the damage that this has been doing,” Daphne Alston of Mothers Of Murdered Sons/Daughters (M.O.M.S.) said.
The murder of Daphne Alston’s son, Tariq Alston, led her and fellow grieving mother Mildred Samy to launch a support group called M.O.M.S. to reach out to the grieving families of murder victims.
“I wanted them to know that when that pain hits, they could call Daphne or me and cry, get a shoulder and speak to someone who knows that pain and can help them through it,” Samy said.
Their group is now planning several simultaneous candlelight vigils Friday night in honor of the countless murder victims across the state.
“I think what we’re trying to accomplish here is that we don’t want our children to be another statistic,” Debbie Perry said.
“We want to let the public know that they need to take a stand, that they need to stand up and take their communities back and stop this violence,” Samy said.
“They need to get out there and fight for their community and our children,” Scriber said.
“Don’t wait until it’s in your backyard. Get involved now so it doesn’t visit your backyard,” Eddie Johnson said.
Those candlelight vigils get started at 7 p.m. Friday. And the group M.O.M.S. encourages other grieving families of murder victims to hold simultaneous vigils of their own.
The vigil for Anthony James Tarbert and Dominic Gerard Perry will be held at: Corner of Valleybrook Road and Wedgewood Road, Baltimore, Md. 21229.
For Tariq Sharif Alston, the vigil will be held at the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company, 1403 Old Mountain Road South, Joppa, Md, 21085.
The vigil for Louis Scott will be at: 2738 Parkwood Avenue (off the corner of Fulton Street), Baltimore, Md, 21217.
Fore more information on the vigils or to get in touch with M.O.M.S., you can call Daphne Alston at (443)807-0152 or Mildred Samy at (407)232-1767.