INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — In 2022, there have been 160 homicides in Kansas City, Missouri, and some community members are making sure those victims aren't forgotten.
On Monday, Mothers in Charge and volunteers placed out crosses at the Gathering Baptist Church in Independence to honor those victims.
Auana Lungren, who lost her son to gun violence this year, said she continues having trouble processing his death.
“It took my soul, like I'm empty inside,” Lungren said.
Lungren says she tries to walk with a purpose after her son's death.
“I think of something positive everyday, I don’t know what my meaning is in life as of now you know,” she said.
Lungren's son, 19-year-old Daniel Busick Jr., died in a shooting in October.
“Right now, that was my whole life, that was my whole purpose in life, everything I lived for was for him,” Lungren said.
Still, Lungren says she is holding onto strength and joined others in placing the crosses on the church.
“I hate saying that, but it's good to know other people are going through the same thing I'm going through,” Lungren said.
Rosilyn Temple, founder of Mothers in Charge, says the ages of the homicide victims have varied in age.
“Young people — ages 14 to 25, to 34," she said. "(They) Couldn’t even have children, haven’t even been able to start their life."
The pain of losing a child to gun violence is something Temple knows all too well, after losing her son Antonio Thompson in 2011.
“It basically destroyed me, but I had to do something in my community, and I built relationships," Temple said. "It's sad, but it's helped me knowing I can help someone one else going through the same thing I went through before."
The crosses were labeled with homicide victims' names and the dates they lost their lives.
Temple and others in Kansas City want 2023 to be a different year for our the community.
“We are going to fight for justice, we are going to fight for peace in our community; because if we don't do it, who is going to do it,” Temple said. “Kansas City we have a problem, so we don't want no other life being taken by the hands of someone else.”