Victim's mother speaks out against violent crime as stats rise

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Violent crime is up from this time last year, and the non-profit victims' family group Who Killed Our Kids says enough is enough. A spokeswoman for the group says more support is needed for crime-stopping and crime-solving efforts in the Queen City.

"My heart is broken, but I pray a lot and I know I have to go on from day to day," Peggy Harris shared. "Johnny has three children and I have three children so I have to keep going."

Harris is still dealing with her son's murder; he was a 24-year-old father of three who was gunned down outside of his Northside home back in 2007.

"Four years, when you're living it it's a long time," Harris acknowledged.

Harris holds on to the small reminders like a bracelet she recently received that John had been wearing the night of his murder. She cannot, however, let go of the unknowns.

"You have questions," she explained. "Who, why, when, what happened? And it's never fully answered so it's something you learn to live with day by day."

Since that day in June of 2007, Harris has been fighting for justice one vigil and flyer posting at a time.

"As long as it's racing through your mind that the one that killed your loved one is still out there there's no peace, there's no peace, I mean, there's no peace," she emphasized.

It is an unrest Harris knows is shared by the hundreds of mothers who have lost their own children to violent deaths in Cincinnati.

"They're different names and different faces, but the same look," Harris said.

She says the face of heartbroken mothers has become all too common on the streets of Cincinnati.

"It just keeps happening so it's kind of disheartening when you're out here trying to get things to change and be different," she said.

No matter how high the numbers may rise, however, Harris says she will not give up.

"It's a vicious cycle that needs to be broken," Harris said emphatically.

She encourages any violent crime witnesses to come forward.

"You have  a moral and a civil obligation to tell what you know because if murderers are running around in the community, whose to say you're not next?" Harris offered. "Speak up. You only have one life to live. You might as well spend it trying to do the right thing."

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