Louisville family crushed by gun violence turns pain into positivity

Louisville family crushed by gun violence turns pain into positivity

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Anti-violence advocates like those with Christopher 2X’s Game Changers group are doing things to try to steer people who are most at risk of being impacted by violence in Louisville in a positive direction.

Two triple shootings in one day Tuesday resulted in the death of at least one person.

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As Cheryl Webb told WAVE 3 News Wednesday, murder and a lack of regard for life are becoming far too common in Louisville.

“It crushes me. They just don’t care and I’m not understanding it,” Webb said.

Each time someone pulls the trigger, Webb explained it takes her family back five years ago to a disturbingly similar scene where they lost her son, Garfield Webb Jr.

“My sibling, my lifeline, my backbone,” Emerald Keen, his sister, said. “A piece of me is gone.”

Webb said her son had a clear path to graduate college and was lit by a bright future, but that turned into a “what could’ve been” scenario when a gunman pulled the trigger with Garfield Webb Jr. on the other side.

Keene and Webb said they are attending coping sessions and workouts to help channel their emotions into something positive. They ask that families view their lives as proof that the way to rise above violence and terror is through positivity and engagement.

“Even though sometimes I don’t want to do things, I persevere and push through,” Keene said. “I’m a boxer. I loved to box. I love to get my anger out. That’s something you can do instead of taking your anger out with the gun. You think the gun is the answer, but they don’t have eyes and it don’t bring people back.”

Keene met Christie Welch, the deputy director at Game Changers, while boxing.

After a violent incident comes vulnerable moments where people like Welch are waiting to help turn lives around.

“Whether it be socioeconomic situations and the hopelessness that comes from that,” she said, “to where it’s easier to go on the street rather than go and do it the right way.”

She is passionate about the goal of helping bridge the gap between youth who commit crimes and a way on the right path, all through building personal connections.

Louisville has seen record breaking homicides in 2020, but those at Game Changers are striving to deliver their services to those who are looking to escape violent choices and environments.

After Tuesday’s shootings, Welch said these crimes should be considered a public health crisis.

She urged community members to reach out to Game Changers if any neighbors or relatives needed support to get on a path to redemption.

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