A Buffalo family wants their voices heard after their 31-year-old loved one was shot and killed last week. Buffalo police are still investigating the shooting on East Amherst street. The victim has been identified as DeQwaun Newkirk.
“How awful it is to wake up to gunshots. Right outside your door literally,” said Tonja Newkirk-Hunter, DeQwaun’s mother.
Tonja Newkirk can’t help but hold onto her loved ones a little tighter. It’s been a week since her 31-year-old son, DeQwaun Newkirk was shot and killed in his car outside of her home.
“You took a father, a son, a grandson, an uncle and a budding community activist. And I saw you,” said Newkirk-Hunter.
Newkirk says it was caught on her security cameras which have been turned over to Buffalo Police. She says this isn’t the first time her family has experienced this hurt. Her husband’s son was killed in 2013.
“2 homicides, same family, same vicious cycle of violence that we continue to perpetuate on each other unnecessarily,” said Newkirk-Hunter.
Newkirk says this wasn’t gang-related. She says DeQwaun had troubles in the past, but turned his life around. She says he had his own business and was starting his own nonprofit to mentor young men and get youth off the streets.
“We’re tired as a community. We’re tired. And the question we and the criminals must ask when is enough enough?” said Newkirk-Hunter.
For Newkirk, now is enough. She says DeQwaun’s youngest son just turned two this week days after his father’s death.
“I just want the killers to understand, you will forever be running from yourself because you accomplished nothing,” said Newkirk-Hunter.
Newkirk says she will finish the work her son started. She says people must get over the fear of retaliation when it comes to gun violence.
“Honor your loved one by not bowing to the enemy. Honor him or her,” said Newkirk-Hunter.
The family is planning a vigil and community walk for DeQwaun on East Amherst street Sunday at 6 p.m. His funeral will be Monday at Open Door Church of God In Christ #5.