Indianapolis News and HeadlinesIndianapolis Local NewsIndianapolis


Indiana families gather for gun violence support brunch

Gun violence support brunch
Posted at 11:39 AM, Oct 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-16 11:43:01-04

INDIANAPOLIS — It was a day for remembering at the second annual Gun Violence for Parents brunch. Kelly Langford created the event to honor her son Daiontez Locke, who was killed in 2019.

"Please pray for the gun violence epidemic to stop. There's so many families out here. We're hurting enough. Enough is enough," she said.

Langford hosted the brunch for free through her catering company, Generation of Taste. The seats filled quickly. In a room full of strangers, grieving families came together to search for peace.

Amber Freeman lost her 18-year-old daughter, Da'Tara Johnson, to domestic violence in January. She says being at the brunch is bittersweet.

"It's only been nine months since everything happened. I'm thankful to be here, but I don't want to be here. It's my baby girl," she said.

Marilyn Johnson is Langford's sister. She lost her daughter, Secoya Williams, 25, in March. It was the second time the family mourned a young person gone too soon.

Johnson and Langford's other sister, Kellee Harney, says that everyone loved Williams.

"They loved her because she loved them. She loved everyone. Whatever someone was going through, she saw through that and gave them love. Because that's who Secoya was," she said.

Johnson says being at the brunch is hard, but it provides comfort.

"I feel like I can't do anything because a lot of people, when it happened to me, they would say, 'I'm so sorry, I don't know what to say.' And me as a mother going through this, I still don't know what to say. I just love everybody who goes through it," she said.

Yulanda Spearmon's daughter, 19-year-old Ashayla Spearmon, was at a candlelight vigil mourning a friend who was killed when she was shot in the head.

"It's really a pleasure to be here today, just to open up and meet different people and talk about your loved ones, and enjoy talking about them and the life that they lived. My daughter's life was short, cut short at a young age, but I'm sure they're proud of us," she said.

Spearmon's homicide remains unsolved. Her mother prays for someone to come forward with information that could help her family find justice.

The desire for justice is something many people at the brunch understand.

Langford doesn't know who killed her son. Kimberly Johnson is also waiting for justice. Her eldest grandson, KeMontie Johnson, was only 21 was he was killed at an IU fraternity party in 2018.

"It'll be four years October the 28th. This is the party he got killed at. If anybody knows anything, let the newspeople know," she said.

Each family's journey through grief is different, but they all share the same desire to see safer streets and fewer coffins.

"All we can do is pray. We can pray for the gun violence to stop. We can try very hard and pray for forgiveness for those who have hurt us. And we can pray for ourselves," she said.

If you have any information about unsolved homicides, you can provide IMPD with an anonymous tip by calling 318-262-TIPS.