Indianapolis News and HeadlinesIndianapolis Local NewsIndianapolis


Mothers impacted by gun violence talk about change during National Gun Violence Survivors Week

"Every time that I see a mother who has lost her child, I hate that she has to go down this road that I am on."
Poster image (8).jpg
Posted at 11:17 PM, Feb 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-06 23:26:07-05

INDIANAPOLIS — This past weekend, IMPD officers were called to seven shootings and two stabbings. Two people were killed and so far six arrests have been made in five of the cases.

Tuesday wraps up National Gun Violence Survivors Week. WRTV’s Amber Grigley spoke with two moms impacted by gun violence and their hope for change in the Circle City.

"Nicholas would be 20 today. He was planning to go to college to be a video game developer. Ashlynn, she would be 19 and she wanted to do hair. So, I'm pretty sure she would be rocking it and getting her momma together," said Antonia Bailey, a mother who lost her children in 2019.

Nicholas and Ashlynn Nelson.jpg
Nicholas, left, and his sister Ashlynn Nelson have been identified as the victims of a double homicide on Friday, Aug. 23, 2019.

Big dreams and aspirations were shattered on August 23, 2019, when the siblings were gunned down in an apartment as they were getting ready for school,

"Unfortunately, I have to grow them up in my mind," said Bailey. "I don't think at the end there's ever any real closure. Every time that I see a mother who has lost her child, I hate that she has to go down this road that I am on," said Bailey.

PREVIOUS: East side community begs for peace after siblings' murder | Indianapolis community devastated after teen siblings killed

Bailey said each shooting that impacts young people in the community is a reminder of the work that's left to be done.

"My goal is to make sure that children are allowed to go further than my children were able to," said Bailey.

DeAndra Dycus started the organization Purpose 4 My Pain after her son DeAndre was shot by a stray bullet while at a birthday party in 2014.

"DeAndre suffered a traumatic brain injury. He had seven strokes, which led to total paralysis from the waist down, so he is a quadriplegic. The traumatic brain injury also caused him to lose his voice, so he no longer speaks," said Dycus.

deandra dycus and dre

Both Bailey and Dycus are on a mission to advocate for families impacted by gun violence. Although it is a daunting task to stop the violence, Dycus said now is not the time to give up.

RELATED: Indianapolis police create program to address effects of gun violence on Marion County families

"We just have to keep going. We have to continue to do the work. These moments like we had over the weekend, losing so many young people. Having people non fatally wounded, having people shot and taken — it just lets us know we have to keep going," said Dycus.

Purpose 4 My Pain assists those who have been injured by gun violence and families that have lost loved ones. Dycus said no one should have to walk this journey alone.

RELATED: Indianapolis mom turns gun violence tragedy into a purpose | Indianapolis mother speaks at DNC: 'One shot changed our lives forever'