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Moms Demand Action group reacts to recent string of shootings

Posted at 6:27 PM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 18:27:02-04

(WTXL) — Communities across the Florida Georgia Line are remembering two lives cut short due to gun violence.

18-year-old Desiyunna Hill was killed at a Valdosta party and 27-year-old TJ McKinney shot inside a barbershop where he worked. With these deaths, gun violence is certainly top mind.

Services are this weekend for both Hill and McKinney. It's a time when healing will begin for a lot of people, but for Moms Demand Action it's just more proof of the change that needs to happen, and soon.

Hill's friends and family are honoring the life of the teenager with balloons, candles and prayer.

"She was a special baby, man. God blessed her to me. That was my first born, she blessed me," said Desmond Grant, Hill's father.

The 18-year-old was shot while leaving a party with her friends last weekend in Valdosta.

48 hours before and about 70 miles southwest, distance proves no difference in heartache.

"I heard people very sad," said Talethia Edwards, President of the Greater Bond Neighborhood Association. "I heard people scared and I heard people asking how could this happen? What was the shooter thinking? Where are we safe?"

McKinney was killed in front of his kid at Clippers Barbershop in Tallahassee.

Moms Demand Action say the change needs to happen across the board. And not just with background checks and age limits.

"We don't need to wait for laws to happen, we can do things like safe storage. You know that guns are stolen everyday out of unlocked cars in the community," said Beth Dumond, with Mom's Demand Action.

And more than that, just taking the guns away won't be enough. Mom's Demand Actions says no one thing will be enough. Something those hurting can agree on.

"We have to come up with a holistic perspective and it's going to take everyone in the community," said Dumond.

So far police have not found the person responsible in Hill's death, while another barber faces charges in McKinney's death.