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Homicide Loss Survivor Walk

By Natalie Potts
By Npotts@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn.- Families of homicide victims came together at Union University to share their stories and remember the lives lost to violence in the City of Jackson.

Monday's walk marked the 5th Annual Homicide Loss Survivors Commemorative Walk. A community of homicide victims' families attended a special dinner that highlighted hope, strength and forgiveness in the Carl Grant Events Center.

Jackson police report 11 homicides in the city so far this year. Investigators said the total number of homicides that were investigated in 2011 was eight. In 2010 police investigated a total of two homicides for the year. Investigators said they don't know why violent crimes have dramatically risen each year in Jackson.

Residents said they are banding together to send a message to the community to stop the violence. "I know that there has been an initiative but obviously there hasn't been enough done to stop the rise of violence. Young people are shot down in our wonderful city, shot down and killed in the prime of their lives," said homicide loss survivor Theresa Blakley. "Please, not one more victim. Please, stop the violence now."

Norma Ellington, who lost her 19-year-old son three years ago to gun violence, said the pain of losing a loved one to homicide never goes away. "It seems like it was just yesterday those memories and feelings. It never leaves you. It's everyday that you think about it," said Ellington.

Ellington made a memory quilt for families to share that showed every Jackson homicide victim lost in the last three years.
"Every time we hear of a homicide we relive our experience," said Ellington. "No family should have to endure this living their life everyday without their loved ones."

Police said our of the 11 homicides police are investigating this year, the victims in three of those cases were beaten to death. Investigators said the remaining seven died from gun violence.