INDIANAPOLIS — A woman is speaking with WRTV for the first time since losing her son to gun violence last month. As someone who is very involved in and cares about the community, this loss is devastating and only invigorating her more to stand up and fight to stop the violence.
“I would take flowers and give them to the parents at a funeral, never imagining when my son turned 20 years old, that someone would be handing me flowers,” Chrystal Gray said.
On Aug. 21, Gray received a call that her son Kevin Richey Jr. had been shot.
“My emotions are still kind of unexplainable,” she said. “It’s still shocking. It’s still scary.”
From what Gray understands, her son was mistaken to be somebody else and was shot in the 900 block of Edgemont Avenue on the near northwest side.
“I understand that he expressed to that person, ‘That’s not me, that ain’t me bro. That’s not me.’ And the person still pulled the trigger and shot him," Gray said.
As the country and world chant in the streets “Black Lives Matter” to end police brutality, Gray is calling for an end to another kind of brutality.
“We are fighting against each other. Not the police against Black people. Not White against Black. But we are fighting youth against youth. Young Black youth against young Black youth,” Gray said.
She says we have to do better as a community in how little the regard is for human life.
“We are killing each other and we are leaving bloodstains on people's homes, in their communities, in the middle of the street. It has to stop," Gray said.
Young men with guns — whether it be because of a lack of structure, community building or resources — Gray says we can point to many reasons as to why this is happening, but says we now have to find solutions,
“I cannot allow myself to sit in my seat and someone else loses a child," she said.
Gray has sat on several boards before to help others in the community.
“I know now this is my purpose. I can’t run from it anymore," Gray said. "It’s knocking at my front door. So I have to do something. And I plan on linking up with different people in the community to not try to find a solution but find the best solution that will help us to stop having to bury our children at age of 20 years old.”
This case is still unsolved. If you have any information to bring this family closure and understand what happened to their son, call crime stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.