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Families of slain youths to march against violence

Brigitte Hoggard (l.) is planning a stop-the-violence march in honor of her son, Terrell Fountain (inset), and others victimized by violence. Inset courtesy Michael Segars
TimesLedger Newspapers

Brigitte Hoggard, Capri Pillow and Shenee Johnson have all lost loved ones to gun violence on the streets of southeast Queens in the past few years, and this weekend they plan to stand together and call for an end to the violence.

“The thing is I feel like a lot of times you see our stories on the news, maybe a week at most, and then they’re forgotten,” said Hoggard, whose son, Terrell Fountain, was gunned down a year ago as he was walking home from a party. “It can’t be forgotten because it’s a continuing thing going on in these streets.”

Fountain, 18, was killed June 26, 2011, as he was walking in St. Albans with his friend, Darryl Adams, who was injured by a bullet during the attack. Adams, 18, would be victimized once again just six months later, when he was shot to death inside the Jamaica Houses in March.

Capri Pillow said her brother, Maurice Johnson, had been to a friend’s funeral just two weeks before he was murdered in Rochdale Village in a week after Adams’ murder. Pillow said the last time she spoke with her brother, the two were talking about how violent his old neighborhood of Hollis had become.

Hoggard said she, Pillow and Shanta Merritt, Adams’ mother, found comfort in the group Life Support, founded by Shenee Johnson after her son, Kedrick Ali Morrow, was shot in Springfield Gardens in May 2010.

“Our goal is to make an awareness of what’s going on,” Hoggard said. “We don’t just deal with grieving parents. We help parents whose children are still alive and support them too.”

The march to mark the one-year anniversary of Fountain’s death was scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at 189-05 Henderson Ave. and end at the corner of 109th Avenue and Farmers Boulevard. Hoggard said the groups, Fathers in The Hood and Erica Ford’s Life Camp, will speak to friends, family and community members who have either lost or are concerned about losing their loved ones.

“It’s sad when you’re a parent and you hear on the news that someone’s getting murdered, and you run to the TV to see if it’s your child,” said Hoggard, who added that she still feels pain from the loss of her son. “Yesterday, I walked into the precinct and saw a reward sign with my son’s face there and that kind of broke me up. It’s sad and you know on the other hand the good thing about it is that we can come together and support one another with this.”

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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Reader Feedback

Maria from South Jamaica says:
It seems that these murders may be connected somehow. I hope these killings stop. As long as there are guns, people will continue to die. I say go to Congress and petition for tougher penalties for those who are caught with a gun. One year in jail for possession of a firearm is not enough. I say more like 5-10 years in jail for carrying and possessing a firearm. I bet the killings would stop then. We no longer have the death penalty so what else can we do to to prevent more deaths by gun violence? Get the guns off the street and get Congress to impose stricter laws.
June 22, 2012, 3:42 am

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