Upticks in deadly violence open old wounds for families affected

Upticks in deadly violence open old wounds for families affected

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As Louisville’s homicides continue unchecked, old wounds feel a fresh pain.

Over the weekend, four people were killed in gunfire in a little more than 24 hours.

“Every time I see that there’s another victim out there,” Donna Munoz said, “It’s almost like I put myself in that position of that family receiving that message, as I know how I felt when we received the call that we never thought that we would get.”

Munoz lost her brother-in-law, Jose Munoz, to Louisville’s gun violence in 2019. He died after being shot at a local restaurant.

Homicides in the city of Louisville have since accelerated to a record pace.

According to community activist Christopher 2X of Game Changers, 43 people have been killed in the first 82 days of 2021.

During the same period in 2020, there were 19 killed. With the continued violence, new families join a growing community built on endless grief and hopelessness.

“I’ve seen them lose a lot of trust within their own family members,” behavioral health professional Jerron Jones said. “I’m seeing them lose trust in community leaders, losing trust in even the faith communities.”

As a large percentage of cases go unsolved, families are denied closure. Depression can be a long term problem.

“A lot of mental stress, a lot of pain,” Munoz said. “You have your good days, your bad days. In this case we’re dealing with a child that has to go into counseling now questioning why his dad is not here.”

It is not unusual for families to express fear. In some cases it’s fear the violence may come for them. Others fear the pain will never relent.

“Fear is a very, very prominent subject among the group,” Christie Welch, Deputy Director for Christopher 2X Gamer Changers aid. “Fear of them not getting justice, fear of retaliation, fear of more things happening like this to other families. It’s just sadness.”

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