JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With the number of homicides in Jacksonville rising in 2020, one local mother wants to help those who’ve lost loved ones.
Through her support group, Compassionate Warriors, Inc., Tina Gray is holding a candlelight vigil this weekend ahead of the holidays. The goal is to support those families during what can be a difficult time.
20-year-old Trevor Gray’s roadside memorial at Atlantic Boulevard and St. Johns Bluff Road is specially decorated for the holidays. His mother, Tina, says it’s fitting for a man who loved Christmas.
“That was one of his favorite holidays,” Gray said “It’s not the same.”
Gray was shot and killed while sitting in his car at the same intersection in January 2019. His mother teared up as she spoke to News4jax about the number of people who adored her son.
“The grief, it hits,” Gray said. “He was real compassionate, he had a big heart. Family was everything to him.”
Since Trevor Gray’s death, Tina has watched as more families lost loved ones to violence. News4jax records show there have been more than 170 homicides so far in 2020. 137 of those were classified as murders.
That’s why she and Compassionate Warriors are holding the vigil this weekend to honor and remember together.
“It gives them an opportunity to unite with others that are going through the same thing, so they don’t feel so alone,” Gray said. “The grief is really hard at that time.”
For Tina, the rising number of homicides in 2020 has been devastating. It’s made her mission stronger.
“We all do work together as a family unit because we’re all part of a family no one asked to be apart of,” Gray said. “We do what we can to support each other.”
With a small memorial in front of her home, Tina works to make sure her son’s memory lives on. That’s a message made clear by the red cardinals she placed above his name.
The vigil is happening at Memorial Park in Riverside this Saturday, December 19th, at 6:00 p.m. The address is 1620 Riverside Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32204.
Gray said everyone touched by homicide is invited to attend. To learn more about Compassionate Warriors, Inc., click here.