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Richmond mom: 'I may not have been able to save him, but someone’s child will listen'

'Today it seems like they are dying to live instead of living to die. They’ve got it confused.'
Laverne McMullen and Kenneth Cooper Jr.
Posted at 10:55 PM, Jun 02, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- Gun violence is impacting scores of families across the country and in Central Virginia. In fact, 73 people have been shot and 30 people have been killed in Richmond so far this year in Richmond, Crime Insider sources told Jon Burkett.

Richmond’s Moms Demand Action
Richmond’s Moms Demand Action

Advocates across the country and in Central Virginia are hosting events Saturday in hopes of preventing gun violence.

Richmond’s Moms Demand Action is hosting Wear Orange Richmond on Saturday at the downtown Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. The group is planning a community conversation with survivors and community leaders exploring efforts to prevent gun violence.

Laverne McMullen
Laverne McMullen

Laverne McMullen's son, 27-year-old Kenneth Cooper, Jr., was murdered on Hanes Avenue near West Brookland Park Boulevard in April 2022.

While she is not affiliated with the group, McMullen is planning to host her own events to help educate Richmonders about the consequences of violence and ways to solve conflicts without guns.

Local News

She posted a message on Facebook. Then they killed her son.

Jon Burkett
2:03 PM, Apr 15, 2022

The Richmond mother said she knows her son would be want her to help save others. But she believes it will take people coming together to explore different ways to prevent the violence.

“The loss of my son, I have to bear every single day. The nightmare will never go away," McMullen said. "This is what he would want me to do and be for the next person. I may not have been able to save him, but someone’s child will listen."

Laverne McMullen and Kenneth Cooper Jr.
Laverne McMullen and Kenneth Cooper Jr.

For McMullen, the day her son was killed 13 months ago seems like yesterday. Since then she has dedicated her life to ending gun violence in the city.

McMullen hopes everyone cares about the issue and does not wait until it impacts their family.

“Today it seems like they are dying to live instead of living to die," McMullen said. "They’ve got it confused.”

McMullen’s family and friends event will take place at the Rail Road Club on Saturday, June 10 from 1 p.m. until midnight. For more information you can contact 804-502-7279.

Click here for more information about the Wear Orange Richmond event.

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