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KCK organization holds 20th annual memorial for homicide victims

Posted at 7:16 PM, Apr 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-29 20:16:04-04

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Friends of Yates on Monday held its 20th annual candlelight memorial service to remember those who have recently been killed.

The service brought out dozens of friends and family members to Forest Grove Baptist Church at Ninth Street and Oakland Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas.

It's not a happy anniversary, but a necessary one to support grieving families.

Carolyn Marks lost her son Ronald "RJ" Marks Jr. in November. He was shot before her eyes at their home.

"Even though it's just been five months since my baby — he was my youngest, he was only 23. With him being gone it's kind of like out of sight, out of mind with friends and people you thought cared," Marks said.

The vigil honored 42 people and all those who have been killed.

The Rev. Dr. Desmond Lamb said the event is about support more than anything.

"The support allows us to be a community again, not just a neighborhood," Lamb said.

Last year, KCK had 33 homicides. That number has fluctuated during the last 20 years.

"We are all here for one cause, to come together, love each other and try our best to make a difference. One voice is one thing, but a lot of voices is a big difference," Marks said.

Among the victims remembered at Monday's service were Wyandotte County deputies Theresa "T.K." King and Patrick Rohrer, who were killed in the line of duty last June.

Members from the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office, district attorney's office and the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department were on a panel to talk about ways to decrease violence.