It’s been seven years since her 17-year-old son was gunned down in a drive-by shooting, but Latrice Murray says she has finally found peace.
Murray’s son, Darreon Murray-Brown, who played basketball at Hogan Prep High School, was fatally shot March 6, 2009, when someone pulled up behind a car in which he was riding with friends on Interstate 70 near Van Brunt Boulevard and opened fire.
Darreon, who was in the back seat, died at the scene.
In recent years, Murray became a member of the Kansas City chapter of Mothers in Charge, an anti-violence and family support group whose members are frequently summoned to homicide scenes. Murray now wants other women in the Kansas City area to be a part of the group.
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The organization will hold a recruitment reception at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the East Patrol Division, 2640 Prospect Ave. Members also will share their experiences of losing a child or loved one to urban violence.
“I want other mothers like me to feel peace,” Murray said. A child’s death “is something that we will never forget, but I want peace and to be able to help other mothers to get to where I am at.”
The informational session will include food, door prizes and a memorial balloon release.
“We are always saying we want to be a part (of something), now here is your chance,” said Rosilyn Temple, the group’s executive director. “Make a difference. We need you. I am begging for help.”
Members routinely canvas neighborhoods encouraging residents with information about homicides to contact police. They also frequent homicide scenes and console relatives, coordinate vigils and work to keep families informed about ongoing investigations.
New members will receive training at the group’s office, located in the Robert J. Mohart Center at 3200 Wayne Ave. The group also needs volunteers to do clerical work.
Volunteers are especially needed this year as Kansas City and other municipalities have experienced an increase in the number of homicides and other violent crimes.
“It’s time for us to stop talking about and be about,” said Temple, who organized the local chapter in 2013 following the shooting death of her son, Antonio Thompson. “We can do better.”
Murray said it took her years to come to grips with her son’s death.
“It has been a long journey,” she said. “I am seven years in, but I can say that I am at peace with myself and I can do what I can to help other mothers to get to where I am.”