Mothers against gun violence plea to end trend of deadly teen shootings on Coast

Mothers against gun violence plea to end trend of deadly teen shootings on Coast
The families of gun violence victims Todd Miller, Robert Tatum, and Marcello English. (Source: WLOX)

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Three South Mississippi mothers are still pushing for justice for their sons, each killed as a result of gun violence.

“When somebody tells you, ‘I understand what you’re going through, it’s going to be ok.' It’s not going to be ok, you know?” said Zandria Miller, Todd Miller’s mother.

The mothers of Marcello English, Todd Miller and Robert Tatum miss their sons. All three teenagers were killed with less than a month between the shootings that cut their lives short.

The mothers organized a march July 1 in Pascagoula to raise awareness of their sons’ cases, calling for witnesses to speak up and for police to arrest those responsible for their sons’ deaths.

“They have the same mission. They want to know what happened to their babies,” said Elizabeth English, Marcello English’s grandmother.

“Nobody’s being held responsible for our kids’ death,” said Tasha Jones, Marcello’s mother. “That’s crazy to me. Like, y’all just going to let them walk on the streets free?”

These women are flipping their grief into action by fighting against a deadly trend of gun violence among teenagers.

“I’m not trying to get the guns out of people’s hands; I’m trying to get the guns out of teenagers’ hands because teenagers don’t understand the concept that death is permanent,” said Cheri Savoy-Pittman, Robert Tatum’s mother.

They said the push for justice is exhausting, but more transparency from law enforcement could offer some peace.

“I still don’t know how many times my child was shot, where he was shot at, I don’t know nothing. Nothing,” Jones said.

“I want you to act like my child is your child and do what you would do for your child. Get a murder charge,” Miller added.

Together they are planning more marches and a youth program called the Keep the Kids Busy Movement. Their goal is to change the culture of violence so children can grow up and live the full lives they once imagined for their own children.

“I’m still trying to open up stuff to other kids too. I’m just trying to make something good out of a bad situation,” Miller said.

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