Family of homicide victim begs community to stop gun violence

Family and friends held a memorial ceremony for Orlandas Gay Saturday. They released balloons in his honor. (Image: WTVC)

A year ago, Louise Bell lost her son Orlandas Gay to gun violence. Now she's asking community members to make better decisions and put down their guns.

"It's other alternatives," said Louise Bell. "You don't have to just keep on killing each other. Love each other."

Bell held a memorial ceremony for Orlandas Saturday at his gravesite. Bell says dealing with his death was hard at first.

"It was a time when I thought that the only alternative was for me to take my own life," said Bell.

Bell persevered, and is using her pain to be a positive example in the community.

"Walk away," said Bell." Walk away. Walk away. That's that the police are for. Call the police and tell them you fear for your life."

Orlandas was not only a son, but a husband and a father to five children. Saturday at his memorial ceremony, loves ones prayed for the gun violence to stop so no one else - has to grow up without a dad.

"Everyone's family is getting taken away," said Lanika Buchanon, Gay's sister. "And it's not worth what you're doing."

According to Chattanooga Police, Gay and Judius Thompson got into a fight on May 10, 2016. While they fought, investigators say Travoraus Thompson shot Gay several times. The pair will be in court May 31st for Gay's death. Travoraus is charged with criminal homicide. Judius faces charges for facilitation of a felony.

Orlando Gay's family says - they're not mad at the the two men charged in his death.

"I just want him to get justice," said Buchanon. "Everybody that lost their loved ones through gun violence to get justice."

Gay's death wasn't his first experience with gun violence. In 2011 - Gay was shot in his leg at a Dorris Street apartment.

His sister says her family lost other loved ones to the same fate.

"I lost my husband, my nephew," said Buchanon.

Hamilton County Court Records show Orlandas Gay had a criminal record of his own. But his family says - regardless of his past he didn't deserve what happened. He was one of 32 people killed in Chattanooga last year.

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