Mount Vernon – It has been two years since that tragic night, Friday, June 10, 2016 when Wilbert Francis, known to friends and family as Junior, was shot fourteen (14) times on South Second Avenue. Junior’s brutal and tragic death was one of two shootings on the South Side of Mount Vernon just 12 hours apart. Hours later, a half block from where I live, shots were fired into the Rev. Shelton E. Doles Community Center, 7th Avenue entrance (across the street from 4th Street Playground) during the end of the Mount Vernon My Brother’s Keeper Summit, shortly after Noon on Saturday, June 11, 2016.The shooting had residents questioning the new 21st Century Policing Initiative the MVPD and Thomas Administration that has just recently unveiled.
Even though its been two years, seven hundred and thirty-one days, the grief and pain of a Black Mother who has buried her son who died from senseless gun violence, on this morning the pain is just as strong. The hole in her heart tightens in her just as strong as it did that Friday night when she got that phone call, none of us who have children ever want to get. Junior’s death is one more unsolved homicide in the city of Mount Vernon, and while others have moved on, Naz Duncan, Junior’s mother still grieves.
The phone calls from those checking on her are now few and far in between, and the visits even fewer, and Junior’s murder fell from the news feed and again people have moved on and all but forgotten. But For Naz she doesn’t have that luxury, she feels it, and remembers everyday, especially today, two years and a day after her son’s life was stolen from her. Naz joined the long list of Moms who lost their child to senseless gun violence, that she once comforted and helped move forward. But ironically, she finds it very hard to move forward. Not move on, because I don’t know if we ever move on, but just to move forward.
Naz shared with Black Westchester just what today means to her.
Today marks the anniversary of that night I got that tragic phone call. My life changed drastically I’m still in the same position as I was since that horrific day. I have continue to have sleepless nights, I suffer from PTSD which causes consistent flash backs. The depression is overwhelming and causes me to detach and the Anxiety consumes me. The pain is worse because the animal that striped me of my youngest my baby is able to be free. To this date no answers. No mother, No father, No sister No brother, No family should have to endure this pain. All we asked for is justice. Though my life had taken a blow that rocked me I WILL regain my strength and Will continue to fight for justice for my son. #JusticeForJuniorI am overwhelmed with grief two years later. My life suck right now only if y’all knew I’n barley holding on AJ. They changed my detective being spiteful and put someone in charge, who never called me since the change. You can’t play games with peoples lives. No calls from the county. The Feds call to tell me they’re here but what have you done or doing?
Black Westchester remembers and will continue to stand with Naz and others who are still fighting for Justice for their loved one, who has become just another unsolved homicide. BW will continue to shine a light and we encourage others, do not wait until this issues hits your doorstep and you lose a loved one to senseless gun violence before you stand up and stand with those fighting for justice of their loved ones.
Two years later, but the grief and the pain is just as strong for a Black Mother who lost a child to senseless gun violence! Let Us Not Forget. #JusticeForJunior!