THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- It never occurred to Sandra Canty that she would have to shield her young children from bullets as they slept in their beds. But, that’s exactly what she had to do on Feb. 25.
“I could literally see the bullets coming through the walls,” she said.
Her Thomasville home was shot more than 30 times, with police finding around 60 shell casings across her property.
Canty and her family moved out the very next day, but experience post-traumatic stress disorder because of what they lived through.
“If I hear a car door shut outside, any little sound, I still have these attacks to where I’m up, panicking around that time at night. 9:30 to 10,” she said.
Her young children also ask if they’ll be safe inside their next home.
The fears that Canty carried with her after the move only intensified two weeks later.
Her daughter Alexus, 22, was shot and nearly killed when a man opened fire on a crowd of people at a party in High Point.
Alexus was shot in the stomach and spent the following months in the hospital.
“Doctors told us flat out, people that have that type of damage they don’t even make it to the emergency room. They die at the scene,” Canty said. “When something like that happens, it takes away your peace and peace is priceless.”
Now, Canty hopes that she can play some role and bring peace to others in her community.
The mother of seven has created the group Save Our Babies.
Every Tuesday for the past month, she and others have gathered to discuss how to end violence in their community. They meet at First Impressions barbershop on Main Street and spend more than an hour coming up with different community outreach events.
“The environment that our youth and in these days, with gangs and violence, it’s devastating,” Canty said. “I just want to save them!”
Canty is working towards an inaugural event on Sept. 14. A cookout at Myers Park, where children, parents and police officers can all gather and enjoy each other's company.
However, these are just a small portion of Canty’s plan for Save Our Babies.
She also wants to focus on creating after school programs for children who are transitioning into middle school.
“They age out of the Boys and Girls Club and the parents can’t afford the YMCA and the parents can’t afford it. Usually around middle school is when we start to see a lot of things happen,” she said.
This is a work in progress, but it's work that Canty hopes will help the group grow to impact every family in the Triad.
Click here to find out more about Save Our Babies.