Murdered teens' parents try to stop violence

May 15, 2008 3:50:18 PM PDT
A group of Chicago parents bound by tragedy are working together to stop the violence that claimed the lives of their own children. The fathers of two Chicago murder victims talked Thursday to students at Marshall High School about ways to avoid falling victim to gang violence.

These are fathers who didn't know each other before two years ago, but now they are united in hopes of saving other teens from gun violence. They dedicate hours of their time almost every day to talk to students, and to parents, encouraging them to get more involved in their children's lives.

Before Marshall High School students left for the day there was one more lesson for them to learn...

"I lost my son as he was coming out of church," said Tommie Bosley.

Bosley shared his pain over losing his oldest son Terrell two years ago when the 18-year-old musician was gunned down outside of his church. Since then, Bosley has worked tirelessly in the community, speaking out against gun violence.

"The pain is still there and you constantly relive it when you hear of other situations of kids getting shot. Your mind flashes back to that day," said Tommie Bosley, victim's father.

Since that day, Bosley has formed a bond with the parents of Starkesia Reed, Blair Holt, Anthony Padron and Willie Williams III, all teens killed by gun violence.

The parents call their group "Purpose Over Pain" and spread their message of empowerment whenever they can.

"That's my therapy, to help others," Willie Williams.

Williams' son was killed two years ago in a shooting at the Ford City Mall. His crusade against violence brings him to high schools and Springfield where he lobbies for gun control.

"Any time we can we get down to Springfield to try to let senators and states reps know that this is a serious matter," said Williams.

Both Williams and Bosley say they hope their message gets through to the students.

"This is just a promise I made to my son when I had to bury him that I was going not only to raise my kids but I would reach out to the community the best way that I can," said Bosley.

Bosley, Williams and other parents from purpose over pain will talk to students at Robeson High School. They talked to Harper High School students Wednesday.

This series of anti-violence rallies was organized by radio station Power 92, which approached "Purpose Over Pain" because of it' efforts.


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