‘If we don’t protect them, no one else is going to’: Piedmont Triad mothers discuss how to deal with youth violence

Piedmont Triad News

(WGHP) — Three separate shootings left two teenagers in Winston-Salem hurt and one in Greensboro dead.

“It gets younger and younger,” said Tonya Cuthbertson, the founder of Mother’s Standing Against Gun Violence.

On Friday, someone shot a 17-year-old along the 1200 block of East 17th Street in Winston-Salem.

Then, a few minutes later and a few miles away, police found a 15-year-old suffering from a gunshot wound inside a car along Crosland Road.

One day later, Traveyon Hariston died after a shooting outside the Greensboro Coliseum.

“Overwhelmed is not even a comparison to what we feel,” Cuthbertson said. “Not even describing six percent of what we feel.”

“It’s mentally draining,” said Qumara Lee, the vice-president of Mother’s Standing Against Gun Violence.

Both women were touched by gun violence. They started the Greensboro group to give comfort, support and advocacy to other families trying to process the loss of their children to violent crimes.

The organization believes kids need more activities to keep them occupied and safe instead of turning to gangs and illegal activity.

“If we don’t protect them, no one else is going to,” Cuthbertson said. “This is everybody’s issue, not just east side of town, south side of tow. This is city wide. This is state wide.”

Kira Boyd with the Winston-Salem Police Department tells FOX8 the department and the country are seeing an increase in gun violence involving young people.

She wants parents to start the conversation with their kids about resolving conflicts without violence.

“When you decide to take matters in to your own hands and use a gun, you’re not just affecting that person’s life. You’re affecting your parent’s lives and those parents’ lives. It’s a tree,” Boyd said.

Cuthbertson and Lee plan to keep trying to stop that web of pain before it starts.

“We don’t want no one else to feel our pain. We don’t want no one else to have to bury their child before their child buries them. We don’t want anyone else to go through this. We’re trying to stop it,” Lee said.

For more information about Mother’s Standing Against Gun Violence visit their Facebook page or email them at msagv336@gmail.com.

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