A prayer vigil was held Tuesday for a teenager accidentally shot over the weekend. But the vigil was different than most, friends and family of Darnell Franklin are supporting his family.
Darnell’s mother is using that strength to send a passionate message about the reality of gun violence that can touch any and every community at any time.
“Please do not play with guns. Guns are not the answer. Find something else creative to do with your lives because it is not worth it. If you don’t want your mom sitting here looking like me without my son then just do not resort to violence. It is not the answer,” said Traci Love.
Franklin was with his friends inside a car at the JW Marriott over the weekend when a 17-year-old mishandled it, firing the fatal shot. That friend has now been charged with reckless homicide.
Darnell’s mother has a very important message for parents and teens.
“Losing my child was the worst thing that I would ever imagine could happen to me so please don’t play with guns,” said Love.
Young boys from the Young Men Incorporated Camp attended the vigil and listened to Love’s message.
“Hearing it on the news and seeing it in the paper it’s like yea, that’s sad, but when you actually come up here and talk to the family and see that they’re hurting it kind of makes you want to tear up because it’s sad that somebody has to go like that. It’s just sad,” said Aaron Woodon.
While Darnell’s death was an accident, Indianapolis’ homicide rate is up nearly 50 percent compared to a year ago.