Gulfport group to celebrate lives of Coast homicide victims

Gulfport group to celebrate lives of Coast homicide victims
Sunday kicked off Crime Victims' Rights Week (Source: WLOX)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Gulfport mother is working to keep her son's memory alive, all while honoring other victims of homicide on the Coast.

Sunday kicked off National Crime Victims' Rights Week.

More than three years later, it's still hard for LaTasha Bryant to put into the words the pain she feels on a daily basis.

"People don't realize. They see the smile on your face. They don't understand the pain behind that smile. Or even what it took to prepare you to come out that day," she said.

In March 2015, her son Keon Rashod Bryant was shot dead in Gulfport. "Our house is never the same, and our lives have changed drastically," she said.

Bryant said at the time of her son's death, she found few resources to help her through the grieving process. That experience is what led her and her husband to create Under His Wings - KRB foundation. The non-profit organizations aims to offer support other families of homicide victims.

"It's something that people don't understand, that once all of the hooplah is over, the news has run the story and all the family and friends are gone, we're still faced with living this life. This new life," she said.

This week, they'll host a two-day event focused on the theme "Promising Not To Forget."

Friday will feature a dinner at the Good Deeds Community Center in Gulfport for the immediate families of homicide victims. There will also be guest speakers.

On Saturday, there will be a community celebration of life and balloon release at Westside Park in Gulfport. The families of homicide victims will release balloons in honor of more than 20 victims along the coast. There will also be free food, a DJ, and events for kids.

"We want to keep these victims' names ringing in the community, cause these victims were not only a part of our family, but of the community," said Bryant.

It's that drive to make a difference, and the grace of God, that Bryant says keeps her strong. "We can not give up. We can't give in. We have to keep going so we can keep the memory of our children living," she said.

Under His Wings- KRB Foundation is still looking for donations and volunteers to participate in Saturday's event. For more information on events and how you can contribute, visit the group's Facebook or send an email.

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