Brooklyn community turns to faith, hope to end brutal cycle of gun violence

Jim Dolan Image
Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Brooklyn community turns to faith end cycle of gun violence
Family members touched by gun violence gathered at the Clarendon Road Church in Brooklyn to comfort each other and look for ways to end the brutality. Jim Dolan has more.

EAST FLATBUSH, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Family members touched by gun violence gathered in Brooklyn Monday night to comfort each other and look for ways to end the brutality.

The choir from LaGuardia High School sang songs of faith and hope at the Clarendon Road Church in Brooklyn.

There was an audience of people who had lost loved ones to gun violence gathered, and some of whom spoke about the bitter but unbreakable bond they share.

Among them was Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, who lost his own brother to gun violence, and who never felt supported by the judicial system he now represents.

"The person who shot and killed my brother went to trial and received a sentence of 10 years, but it did not feel like justice," Gonzalez said.

RELATED: Eyewitness News is tracking crime and safety across New York City and in your neighborhood

Many of those who assembled on Monday night, have never seen any justice as their children's killers walk among us, still. For others, arrests have provided only cold comfort.

"The person who who did the deed is in custody, but my son is gone," Roy Holder said.

Holder lost his 19-year-old son, an assistant teacher, just four months ago. He is trying desperately to find something positive in the overwhelming grief he feels each day.

"We have to, I mean how do you deal with losing your child, and there has the be a reason so we're trying to make sure that there is a reason this all happened," Holder said.

It is, in the end, all they are left with -- trying to find a light in the darkness, and maybe, be the light for someone else.

"I sit in my office at home and I look at his picture and I feel like everything that we are doing to donate funds to help young children and the fact that we donated his organs, I sometimes look across and he smiles to say, 'well done, dad. Well done,'" Holder said.


* More Brooklyn news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.