Mother on anniversary of son's shooting death: 'We have to do better'

NORTHSIDE, OH (FOX19) - It's been 11 years since John Harris was shot and killed right outside of his home on the Northside. On Thursday, his mother and the community joined together outside of his home to keep his memory alive and to make a call for peace.

During the vigil, the heartbroken mother, Peggy Harris, clung to a picture of her son and hope that his killer will be brought to justice.

"Jonny said, 'Don't do this to me I got three kids,'" she said.

In 2007, John Harris was carjacked and killed as he pulled up to his home on Fergus Street. His mother says as the 24-year-old was pleading for his life as he was shot three times in the back.

"I know people saw when y'all heard him say that. You had to see who he was talking to. I do not believe you heard my son saying that and did not see who he was talking to," said Peggy Harris.

Each year to make sure her son isn't forgotten she organizes a vigil. Dozens came out to show their support and they marched through the street where her son was killed.

Peggy Harris says Thursday's memorial isn't just about her son, but for everyone who lost a loved one to violence.

"We are killing each other at an alarming rate," she said. "Even the ones who are not dying -- they're crippled. Something has to give. We have to do better as a people. We have to do better."

Karen Rumsey, a witness advocate for Cincinnati police says the "no snitch" mentality has to end.

"It's our responsibility to as a community come forward. We can't keep turning a blind eye to people killing our kids. It must stop. These rosters must not grow," she said.

Peggy Harris says she will continue to walk the path near her son's home where he was killed each year until she gets justice.

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