‘It’s time to put the guns down’: Walk A Mile In Our Shoes remembers gun violence victims

The event is held annually on National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims. 
Walk A Mile In Our Shoes

LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ)- On the same day that the city of Lexington tied its record 37th homicide of 2022, families of murder victims gathered at the Fayette County Circuit Courthouse steps to remember their loved ones.

“We should not have to come together or meet each other in the respect that we have,” one speaker said.

It was all part of “Walk A Mile In our Shoes,” an event put on by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and “We Are Survivors.” We Are Survivors is made up of families who’ve lost their loved ones. The event is held annually on National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims.

“Just to show that these are the people that are no longer here with us. These are the shoes that they walked in. These are the faces, these are the clothes they wore,” said Kenya Ballard.

Ballard is among the survivors, having lost people in her family due to gun violence. Her loss includes her granddaughter, Nova, who was shot in a home invasion.

“She was sassy. Always happy, always smiling,” said Ballard.

With the city now tying it’s record of homicides in a single year, organizers, like Deana Mullins, say it’s important now more than ever for the community to step up to help and that if you see something, say something.

“We need to come together as a community and realize that this is a permanent solution that can be solved without such permanency in these family’s lives,” said Mullins.

Mullins lost her son in a shooting. The suspect wasn’t found guilty. She now shares her story with others, in an effort to prevent others from walking in the same shoes she wear every day.

“I always tell that it’s a club that I was invited into with my son’s death certificate. It’s nothing that I want anybody to ever experience in their life,” said Mullins.

For community activist Ricardo Franklin, who works as a community outreach person in the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department, the memory of his brother is what pushes him to continue making a difference. Franklin lost his brother in a shooting.

“I think that provides a drive for me because I want to do well. And I want to look back one day and say “hey, we made it,’ said Franklin.

“We Are Survivors” will be having a block party at the Charles Young Park on East Third Street from 5-7 p.m. next Friday. The goal is to help the community heal.

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