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Midlands mothers fear if something isn’t done now, more mothers will lose their children to guns

Midlands mothers held a roundtable discussion to come up with solutions to what they are calling an epidemic of gun violence.

HOPKINS, S.C. — Midlands mothers affected by gun violence held a roundtable discussion Wednesday to discuss ways to stop the gun violence.

“My son was a good child, a master diesel mechanic, he was going to go some places," said Ojetta Freeman. "He was going to get his family a better home.”

Her son, Kwame Jones, was killed on February 10, 2018. "They shot my son in the chest and the back of the head.”

Four years later, Freeman says she’s still hurting. "He was the most beautiful child you could imagine," Freeman said. "I love my son, and they took him away from me.”

Beside Freeman sat Whitney Adams. Her son, Trevion Fuller was taken from her two months ago. “They shot my son six times. They didn’t have to shoot him six times.”

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Tissues readily available to dry the eyes of the grieving mothers.

One mother said, “My baby is not here with me. Her birthday was January 6th, and she was killed January 15th.”

Organized by District 80 House Rpresentative Jermaine Johnson of Kershaw and Richland Counties, the legislator said he's grieving, too. Johnson said the goal of the discussion is to find solutions to stop the gun violence, "to come up with some solutions on how we can fix the gun violence epidemic we have out here."

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“We’ve been in this state of emergency for a long time, losing our young people, losing innocent bystanders," Johnson said. "I think this kind of conversation can really spark some change.”

The pain is also felt by those wearing a badge.

“I was there when your son was killed," a Richland County deputy said. "I had to come out to the scene when your daughter was killed, and it’s tough because I am a parent first.”

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One of the needs identified by the mothers is for officers to undergo sensitivity training so they know how to tell a family their loved one has died. 

The mothers also want suspects to face tougher gun charges, to prevent repeat offenders and a more rigorous check into an individual to determine if pleading insanity is fitting. 

The mothers say they want to see the Magistrate Court setting higher bonds, and authorities taking more care with evidence.

Finally, the group said they want to see agencies working together so there is an easier flow of communication between officials and families.

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