Dr. Frederick A. Gelsey says he didn’t know what his son was listening to or doing – he didn’t know what was going on with him. Now, he’ll never have a chance to address any issues because he isn’t around.
Frederick Jr. was murdered in 2011; shot three times – twice in the head and once in the neck, by a friend after they got into an argument. Frederick was just 30-years-old.
That moment – his son’s murder – changed Dr. Gelsey forever.
“I’ve never forgotten it,” said Dr. Gelsey, who is a pastor and the organizer of the Homicide Prevention Workshop. “It’s not normal for parents to bury their children. We remember it. We will remember it for the rest of our lives.”
Dr. Gelsey has had many restless nights in the days, weeks, and years since his son’s murder. It was during those nights he understood his purpose, saying he knew suddenly he had to talk with other parents, help them identify the signs and symptoms of behavioral issues their children might be facing which could lead them toward violence.
Counselors say common signs of violent behavioral patterns include anger management issues, disrespect toward others, issues in school.
“People are lost and they don’t understand.”
“We don’t talk to our kids; we talk at them,” said Pastor Charles Walker, a member of the National Action Network. “We have to get to the root of the cause of things. It’s peer pressure, social pressure, economic. It’s a multitude of things. We have mechanism in place that will address these things but if they’re not educated, how can they.”
Dr. Gelsey is hopeful many people from the community will come to the event addressing homicide prevention – it’s taking place April 21, 2018 at noon at 940 Broadway in Buffalo. And he believes education can stop violence and save lives.
“We need to change the mindset of a generation. If we don’t, we won’t stop homicides.”