Latonya Carter's son Earl hit and killed by random gunfire in his front yard day after Christmas
Earl Carter Jr. studying to be a pharmacist
Kenya Hamilton's son Lavonia Jackson Jr killed last February riding bike to school
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A memorial for a slain 22-year-old man, shot down by random gunfire the day after Christmas, stands in the 1900 block of West 25th street.
"I come out here in the morning and the evening to be with him," said his mother Latonya Carter.
Carter's son Earl Carter Jr. was struck by gunfire, standing in his front yard talking to two friends. Carter was home from college for Christmas break. He was attending college in hopes of becoming a pharmacist.
"They took my son's diploma and turned it into a death certificate and that is hard. Not seeing my son, not being able to touch my son, it is hard on a parent."
One of nine siblings, Carter says her son was a kindhearted person, who helped anyone he could. He was like a brother to many.
She would like to see stricter guns laws so other families won't suffer like hers.
"When these young boys get these guns in their hands it is leading to trouble. When these children steal these guns, our familes are in danger, like my son. Something needs to be done about this, if not it will be another family and another family. Something needs to be done about this."
Next month will mark the year anniversary of the death of 18-year old Lavonia Jackson Jr. He was shot dead along 19th Street near Myrtle while riding his bicycle to school in the middle of the afternoon.
Uvonda Jones says her nephew Lavonia Jackson Jr. was attending North Florida Education Institute night class, just a 1/2 credit from earning his high school diploma. He was shot dead on his bike headed to class.
"It was devastating, he was a good kid, he was trying to graduate, trying to do his best trying to make something of himself. For his life to be taken so senseless, it don't make any sense," said Jones.
Jackson's mother Kenya Hamilton still deals with the pain of losing her son.
"His birthday was January 4th and that was pretty rough for me ... everyday is. It is just hard," said Hamilton.
Losing her son to gun violence leaves her hating guns altogether and wishes only the police had them.
"If it was up to me , they can just get rid of all the guns , I don't think they shouldn't sell guns. It should not be easy for people to get guns."
Jones says it is tough knowing her nephew's killer is still out there free.
"It don't make it easier knowing that his killer is still out there and hasn't been caught , knowing that he got shot it makes it worse."
Jones is hoping whatever changes, whatever laws President Barack Obama can get through will make a difference. She says she prays everyday that something will stop the violence.
First Coast News