JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -
A photo shows Ralaunda Bray beaming, standing next to her 18-year-old son.
“That was my baby. Still is. That’s my TD, that’s what I called him,” she said.
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Tradarius Alexander was her second of four boys. Her last conversation with him was July 9, 2017, hours before he was shot and killed.
“I told him I was going to cook dinner for him Sunday after I leave the laundromat. He told me he loved me,” Bray said.
Nearly two years later, reminders of him fill her home -- teddy bears made of his shirts, an engraved Bible.
She keeps a Crime Stoppers sign in her yard, hoping someone will come forward with information that will lead to a murder charge.
“It breaks my heart that parents have to get a phone call or knock on the door, your son’s been killed. That’s the worst feeling in the world,” she said.
On Sunday, Mayor Lenny Curry released a video about the new Cure Violence program the city is rolling out June 8.
The approach is to train people to target the violence where it’s happening.
“Very carefully selected members of the community, trusted insiders who will be able to anticipate where violence may occur so they can intervene before it happens,” Curry said.
Curry said the city's other initiative -- the new Crime Gun Intelligence Center -- has already linked one person to three separate shootings.
As for Bray, she carries the pain of losing her son with her every day.
“It’s like a sickness that never goes away. You feel it every day, all day,” she said. “I hate to see other parents go through this. This is a hard journey. I wouldn’t wish this on no one.”
Each Sunday, she visits her son’s grave, praying more families in Jacksonville won’t have to feel the same pain.
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