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

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

Philadelphia principal has President Obama's ear

The West Philadelphia head is gathering ideas to present to the White House.

Local

Neighbors testify at Overbrook roommate slaying trial

Neighbors and roommates were called to testify Wednesday in the trial of Renaldo Robichaw, 56, charged with murder for the death of roommate Albert Smith, 48.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

Movies

Latin culture highlighted at Filadelphia film fest

Get ready to have a “Bad Hair” day at the upcoming Filadelphia Latin American Film Festival. We mean that in the best possible way. The…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

NFL

Eagles will spend Thanksgiving in Dallas, play four…

The Eagles have an impressive, challenging and exciting schedule in 2014.

NFL

NFL releases Eagles 2014 schedule

The Eagles have four primetime games, face the Cowboys on Thanksgiving and host the Seahawks in a dynamic, challenging and impressive schedule.

NHL

All signs suggest Steve Mason will start in…

Flyers head coach Craig Berube elected to put Steve Mason in net for the final minutes of Game 3.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."