Mother whose daughter was shot to death fights for gun safety

5 years after teenager fatally shot, mother warns gun owners to secure weapons

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Five years later, the mother of a slain Jacksonville girl is fighting to raise awareness about gun safety. Thirteen-year-old Titiana Mitchell was shot in the head by an 11-year-old, in what police called an accidental shooting. 

Titiana Mitchell was a dance student at LaVilla School of the Arts. 

Her mom said guns were left loaded and unsecured in the home where her daughter died.

Juilane Mitchell continues to promote gun safety, five years after her daughter was shot to death, hoping to save another life.

A banner with Titiana Mitchell’s picture hangs outside of her mother’s home.  It’s one of a few ways her family keeps her memory alive.

"Five years later, I pray... I pray a lot. Every year, my family and friends.. We gather in the same yard near my daughter’s favorite stump and we let balloons go. She’s my angel," Williams said.

Williams remembers her daughter as a vibrant girl, who loved ballet and her friends.

Unfortunately it’s been five years since she’s been able to see Titiana.
She was shot and killed by an 11-year-old who found a parent’s gun.

"Sometimes I’m angry. Sometimes I’m sad.. and I’m like God got it. It never goes away," Williams said. 

To keep her spirits up, Williams says she wants to promote gun safety within the city. She said it starts with parents taking extra precautions with their weapons.

"We, as parents, have to take that stand and that responsibility for making our guns in homes safe for our kids and for ourselves too," Williams said.

Williams' message is simple but important: Parents, if you have a gun in your home, especially with children, please secure it. 

Gun locks are free at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

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