PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There is growing urgency to address the deadly gun violence in Philadelphia. Outside Overbrook Presbyterian Church stands a 2020 memorial of Philadelphians murdered by illegal guns.
The church says they nearly ran out of space and there are so many T-shirts.READ MORE: Lawmakers Lay Out Proposal To Use Lincoln Financial Field As COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Site
At the highly visible crossroads of City and Lancaster Avenues, is a disturbing display. The T-shirts of various colors with black writing represent Philadelphia’s victims of gun murder.
Names, ages, and the dates of death — 447 of them, all from 2020.
“The violence in Philadelphia is ridiculous,” Lakesha Saunders said.
Saunders’ son, Keyshone Young, is no longer here.
“He was shot out in Frankford. The perpetrator who murdered my son is still at large,” Saunders said.
The organization Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence has, for seven years, used T-shirts to show the impact of gun violence in Philadelphia.
These t-shirts represent those dead from gun violence in Philadelphia in 2020. Family members of two victims claimed their loved ones’ shirts. The story on #CBS3 this evening. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/FKGycIsgChREAD MORE: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy Voluntarily Quarantining After Family Member Tests COVID-19 Positive
— Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) February 10, 2021
Given recent surges in killings, the display is expected to grow larger.
“We’re also already seeing a major increase this year over last year, including seven that were murdered on Monday,” Bryan Miller, the executive director of Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence, said.
Joanne Green buried her nephew in May. She stood in the place of her sister, who continues to recover from COVID-19, in mourning the loss of Tyrik Taylor.
Their loss also comes with so many questions about why for so many Philadelphians, it came to this.
“There’s too many children who are losing their lives today to nonsense. It really doesn’t make any sense what’s going on here in the city of Philadelphia,” Green said.
The group is also backing legislation in Harrisburg that would cut down, they argue, on straw gun purchases, making it illegal to buy more than one firearm per month.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Federation Of Teachers Upset After 14 Nonprofits Suggest Teachers Return To Classrooms
For a list of gun violence resources in Philadelphia, click here.