Balloon release for homicide victims and their families

The second annual event was created to show support to families who have lost loved ones specifically to violence.

ST. LOUIS - Mother's Day Weekend can be tough for some moms, including those whose children are no longer alive due to violence. Numbers from St. Louis Metropolitan Police show there have been more than 50 homicides in the city so far this year.

A second annual event held Saturday at Fairground Park aims to help people, like Kim Small, through their grief. Her son was murdered. 

"My son's name was Dwayne Antonio Gibbs Jr.," Small said. "It's been 93 days."

It's her first Mother's Day without him.

"I can't touch him, I can't hold him, he can't call me," she said. "I want people to remember my son."

The group Safely Transforming Our People hosted the event to honor his and other lives lost to violence.

"So many folks come to mind," said Vincent Holmes, who attended the event. "I've been here 35 years. I've done went to funerals so much I can't even cry no more."

Organizer Kisha Jackson says the gathering gives families an opportunity to express themselves.

"It's very important to be able to release feelings and emotions because bottled up emotions can lead to other things," she said.

The group walked to the roadside for a balloon release.

"I wish that we could have peace in the streets," participant Clara Holmes said.

It's a message many people are echoing.

"Everybody wants those big old guns and nobody wants to talk it out and they want to settle their problems that way," Vincent Holmes said. "It's just uncanny and it needs to stop."

"Prayer is the key and love is the answer," Small said.

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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