Organizers hold support cookout for homicide victims

Updated: Oct. 14, 2017 at 4:53 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Friends and family of homicide victims gathered in Bryan Park for their annual cookout, but attendees say the grief from an unexpected and violent death doesn't ever go away.

They say a homicide is impossible to forget.

"But it makes it a lot easier when you're with a group," said Barbara Muse.

For some, it has been a year or 11 years, but some grief is fresher than others.

"It feels like it was just yesterday," said Angela.

For the 10th year in a row, the Homicide Support Group is bringing friends and family of homicide victims together with a cookout that's not in a spirit of misfortune but of remembrance.

"We started this group for people to be able to come together and express the issues, which is grief," said Ester Marshall.

More than 50 people have been shot and killed in Richmond this year.

In 2016, the city had a total of 47 homicides.

Each one that surpasses that number now serves as a reminder.

"Please stop this killing because not only does this hurt the families suffering, but you're leaving two families suffering," said Janice Jefferson.

Organizers say their ultimate goal is to increase the Homicide Support Group attendance, not because of more violence, but because friends and family feel comfortable enough to join the communal healing process.

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