“The grief never ends”: Families honor homicide victims with candlelight vigil

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Dozens gathered for a candlelight vigil at Memorial Park in Jacksonville Saturday night — each impacted by homicide.

The second annual event was organized by Compassionate Warriors, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting families of homicide victims.

The organization was started by Tina Gray after her son, Trevor, was murdered nearly two years ago. She said her son was gunned down while sitting in a car at a red light.

”As a mom, losing your child — that grief never ends,” she said. “The violence has to stop — the guns, too. There’s other ways to handle things. Running away, taking people’s lives is not it.”

Trevor was only 20 years-old when he was murdered. So far in 2020, there have been 139 homicides according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office transparency page.

Danny Santana was also at Saturday’s vigil. He moved to Jacksonville from Boston five months ago with his organization, Inspiring Today’s Youth. He said there are more young people getting involved with violence because of gangs.

“I see a lot of kids with no services,. They’ve got nothing to do,” he told Action News Jax’s Robert Grant.

Santana said he was once a part of the problem, and violence took his own wife, Melissa. He said she was shot and killed in front of his children.