Birmingham Police say 13 children were killed in the city this year, 12 by gunfire
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - 2022 has been a devastating year for Birmingham when it comes to homicides and gun violence. Of the 132 criminal homicides so far, the Birmingham Police Department say 13 were children under the age of 18 and 12 of those victims died from gunfire.
We are thinking of the victims, their family, and their friends during this holiday season as we remember the young lives taken too soon.
“We have homicides in our city, but it’s different... it’s very different when it’s an innocent child,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, just hours after the city lost its 13th child to violence this year.
12-year-old Audriana Pearson was having a sleepover with friends this week when someone fired shots into her home. Now, her mom Tyraneeka Weir is planning a funeral instead of Christmas.
”My daughter, my baby, my only baby girl,” she said. “I wouldn’t want anyone to experience this pain. It’s hurtful. My heart is torn.”
Her grief all too familiar for several families in the Birmingham area.
16-year-old Yasmine Wright died nearly a year ago when she was caught in the crossfire while riding home from work. The teen was remembered as a good student who was just stepping into her own.
“When she come around, she would bring life to the atmosphere,” said Dewayne Moore, Wenonah High School’s band director. “She was a very sweet spirit, and you know… just really enjoyed having her around us.”
A few months later, the BCS community would lose another student to gun violence: 16-year-old Jamie Gibson, who police say was possibly shot while riding in a car near Overton Road.
”I want Jamie to be remembered as honestly one of the smartest kids that I ever knew,” said Samantha Nelms, the program manager of Elevate Birmingham. “Just so intelligent, so smart, hardworking, honest, courageous.”
An infectious ability to make others smile. That’s how the mother of 17-year-old Dwaine Thomas remembered her son when he was shot and killed just weeks before his graduation.
“There wasn’t nothing he wouldn’t do for his family at 17 years old,” said Deana Casco. “He loved baseball. That was his dream. He told me one day he was going to build me a house from baseball.”
14-year-old Moriah Quib-Marquez was on her way to school at Ossie Ware Middle when bullets started hitting the SUV she was riding in.
The principal only knew her a few months but says Moriah made an impact on her in that short time.
”If she would see you in the hall, she would want a hug, and she would come up and give you a hug,” said principal Wander Riley. “She just wanted to help, and she wanted to be there, and just really a larger-than-life personality.”
“I am going to miss you a lot and please rest easy,” said the friend of 13-year-old Jaylon Palmore, another student at Ossie Ware Middle who was shot and killed while sitting on his front porch.
His friends described him as a shy child who excelled in school and was happy to help others.
“One of the students said he was the kind of student to give the shirt off of his back and he actually did that for one of his classmates,” said BCS Superintendent Dr. Mark Sullivan.
Those are just some of the young victims over the past year. Other children lost to violence in Birmingham include 17-year-old Javarious Reed, 17-year-old Ty’nez Durden, 16-year-old Kavas Jemison, and 3-year-old Desmond Burt Jr.
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