Christiana Ford, a New Orleans pastor and founder of the Silence The Violence Foundation, is calling for an end to gun violence in her community just days after losing a second son to gun violence just outside her home and steps away from her church.
Ford lost her 39-year-old son Lamar Ford in a shooting earlier this month.
Lamar Ford was fatally shot in the head on Aug. 5, 4WWL reported. Police say the shooting happened about 11:30 a.m. on the 1300 block of Elysian Fields Avenue.
The location of the deadly shooting was near the House of Faith Non-Denominational Ministries, a congregation led by his mother.
Lamar Ford had served time in prison for manslaughter, according to nola.com, but was released two years ago. According to his mother, he was turning his life around and helping with outreach programs at her church.
In addition to his mother, Lamar Ford left behind a 9-year-old son and other siblings.
"This man got out of the car and stood over him and shot him two times in the head," Christiana Ford told 4WWL. "It's not right; it's not right. It's nothing like losing a child."
The grieving pastor, who previously lost another son to gun violence in Texas, spoke out against gun violence in New Orleans amid a sharp increase in homicides in the city.
Data from the Metropolitan Crime Commission found that since New Year's Day, 180 murders have been reported, a 42% increase compared to the same period last year.
"To see our kids getting killed daily on the streets. It's multiplying. It's crippling. It's out of control. We need help here in New Orleans," Ford said.
"Every day, all day, somebody is being killed. That tells me it's easy to kill and it's easy to get away with it. ... It's my child now. Whose child is it going to be next?"
"We must come together and let these criminals know they're not taking over the streets."
At his trial in 2017, prosecutors said Lamar Ford shot a man named Tyrone Daniels in a vacant alleyway in a dispute over a $40 drug debt on April 22, 2013, according to nola.com.
Prosecutors alleged that Lamar Ford lured Daniels into the alleyway by claiming his bike was there and then shot him. They cited circumstantial evidence against him.
Lamar Ford's brother Lynn Ford, who had given Daniels a haircut shortly before he was shot, reportedly told investigators that he thought Lamar Ford had murdered Daniels but recanted his testimony upon taking the stand.
In May 2017, Lamar Ford pleaded guilty to manslaughter two days after his trial started, with Daniels' mother accepting the deal made with prosecutors but insisting he was a murderer.
"I know you killed my son, but I'm going to take it," Shirley Daniels said, as reported by nola.com at the time. "I can't do it no more."