Missing Willie

Missing Willie

Personal Stories About Those Lost To Gun Violence

 

We are losing our loved ones more and more each day to violence. Its seems like the smallest things can start deadly fights: staring, an argument over a girl, clothes, money, and especially turf.

The audio snapshots I’ve collected here are stories from parents that I have met who have lost their loved ones to violence. Their memories live alongside mine. Just like I do, those parents, children, and friends struggle everyday with the holes left in their lives.

My life and heart were torn apart three years ago when my son Willie was killed at Keyes Recreation Center in West Oakland. The memory is so painful, I can barely write this story. Willie tried to apologize after bumping another man during a basketball game. The apology wasn’t accepted.

Instead, the guy left and came back with someone else. They shot Willie seven times.

My son left behind a little boy. His name is Willie, too. He’s 6 years old now, and I’m raising him.

Before it all happened to me, I always prayed for the other families when someone got killed. After l lost my son, my connection to those families grew even deeper.

-Ida Hancox