Parkside shooting victim mourned at anti-gun violence vigil

John Carrington was sitting on the porch of his home on the 4900 block of Thompson Street the evening of June 6 when someone in a passing car opened fire, striking Carrington and two friends.

He managed to stumble about a half block to Saint Bernard Street, where he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital.

Within three hours, he was dead.

Carrington was only 21 years old.

Friends, family members and advocates traced the young man’s last steps Sunday afternoon during a vigil in his Parkside neighborhood organized by grassroots gun violence prevention organization Heeding God’s Call.

“A lot of folks just don’t understand the devastation afterwards,” said Cheryl Seay, who lost her own son Jarrell two years ago on Easter Sunday.

“And when I say ‘afterwards,’ I mean after the service, after the people go away, you get this sick feeling in your stomach – and that never goes away.”

“It’s going to take every single one of us to stop this violence,” Jarrell’s father Joel Seay said.

“We have to find out where these guns are coming from and tell someone.”

That’s precisely the intent of Heeding God’s Call.

The interfaith coalition has for over four years staged regular protests outside local gun shops that have reputations for selling firearms to straw purchasers.

Members have now started staging “murder site witnesses” consisting of brief vigils at recent crime scenes, a practice that began with the organization’s Harrisburg chapter.

“Every time there’s a gun homicide in Harrisburg, they do one of these witness events on the street,” executive director Bryan Miller said.

“We would love to do the same thing in Philadelphia, but we’d be out there every night, almost, so we do them once a month on Sunday afternoon.”

Miller said in the most basic sense, participants are witnessing for their faiths.

But he said perhaps more importantly, the events serve to show residents whose lives have been touched by gun violence – especially in neighborhoods where such tragedies have become commonplace – that their struggles are not forgotten.

“We also hope to give people in what I would call damaged neighborhoods and communities a sense of hope that they are not isolated, that there are people who aren’t from their neighborhood who are concerned about how gun violence affects them, and we’re doing everything we can on a daily basis to make their neighborhoods safer.”

Carrington’s mother Virginia said the outpouring of support helped ease her pain, but she’ll never be fully healed.

“The stress, it comes and goes,” she said. “Like everybody said, it will never go away.”

A mother’s grief

Carrington said she still struggles to find solace when it comes to the loss of her son.

“This is where I sit and look at all the memories of the things he has done, from the time he was born to recently,” she said, gesturing to rows and rows of photographs lining the walls of her home. “This is him.”

Since her son was killed, she often wakes up in the middle of the night thinking she hears his voice.

The smell of certain foods also trigger her memory.

“He couldn’t cook, but he liked to tell me how to cook,” she recalled.

“I can still hear him sometimes, saying, ‘You’re not supposed to make it that way – make it this way!’”

Still, Carrington has vowed to continue her involvement with anti violence groups like Heeding God’s Call.

“I want to help other people because this is really outrageous,” she said. “After a month, it’s still overwhelming.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

D.A. Williams opens new unit to focus exclusively…

D.A. Seth Williams announced Tuesday that he has opened a new unit focused entirely on investigating wrongful conviction claims.

Local

BSL, El to run all night on summer…

Officials announced this week that it would institute a pilot program this summer that would keep the El operational from 5 a.m. Friday morning until midnight Monday morning starting in…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Here's what to do in Philly this weekend

FILM 'Through a Lens Darkly'  Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 1400 N. American St. Free, RSVP required, 215-232-5678 www.philaphotoarts.org Join Philadelphia…

Arts

Peek behind the scenes at the Academy of…

Generations of visitors have marveled at the dioramas in the Academy of Natural Sciences, watching apprehensively at the puma perpetually poised to attack the unsuspecting…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

NHL

Flyers must make Rangers feel their presence

Perhaps it’s the proximity of the two biggest cities in the East, because whenever these two square off the intensity seems to rise.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.