INDIANAPOLIS — INDIANAPOLIS — Gun violence continues to devastate families across Indiana.
One mother who knows the pain of losing a child to guns is hosting a free brunch for parents this weekend.
"With me in this situation now, with someone murdering my child, I just try to find a way to keep myself going without being in a depression era because I was depressed for a minute and it put me in a real dark place, so [I started] praying about it and found a way to give back," said Kelly Langford.
Keeping a smile isn't always easy for Langford. She lost her son, Daiontez Locke, in 2019 to gun violence. Locke was 21-years-old.
"I would just like to say to the person that murdered my child, I forgave you a long time ago and it wasn't for you, it was for me. I just wish you had some type of conscience that you would come forth and just turn yourself in," said Langford.
It's a pain hundreds of families face across Indianapolis.
That's why Langford decided to start a tradition in October around her son's anniversary and give parents a safe place to talk about their loved ones' legacy through brunch.
"It's in memory of my son," said Langford. "I think we should be able to connect. Be the voice for our children because clearly we are their voice and I just pray they don't forget about us mothers and fathers out here and that it just brings us closer and closer that we can all do something to stop the gun violence. It went good last year, went really good last year, so I feel this year is gonna be a lot better."
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Melissa Jude is looking forward to Saturday's event.
"Nobody understands what you're going through unless they've been through it. So, I'm looking forward to being together, uplifting, sharing stories," said Jude.
Her son, Chandler Bussey, passed away in June of 2020 after being shot.
He was 20 years old.
"He was my first-born son. Absolutely silly fella. I miss our pranks and our jokes everyday. It's still hard to believe he is gone everyday," she said.
As homicide cases continue to pile up across Indianapolis, it's triggering for families like Langford and Jude who are still waiting for justice.
"And it's also heartbreaking because we were once those parents getting that news and there is no news like hearing your child is deceased from gun violence," said Jude.
"We feel like we are forgotten. The homicide epidemic is terrible. Nobody is really doing anything," said Langford.
But with her son as her motivation, who is always on her mind, Langford promises to lend a helping hand to anyone going through this. Her brunch will continue annually.
"It's just to show people that somebody out here still cares for you. If I can help one person, I feel like I am doing what I am supposed to do," Langford said.
The Gun Violence for Parents Brunch is free and will be held on Saturday, October 15 at The Huge Impact Event Center.
It's at 1221 S High School Rd from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Seats are sold out, but if you are interested in attending, the organizer says there will be room to stand.
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