Families reflect on National Gun Violence Awareness Day

There’s something in the air in Augusta. It makes taking a breath that much harder.
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 6:53 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Gun violence continues to hit communities across the United States every day.

For most, it’s a topic you think will never happen to you until it hits home. June 2 is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and we are taking a closer look at homicide numbers in Richmond County.

Since the start of 2023, we have had 18 homicides most by gun violence. In 2022, that total number was 35. We are on pace to meet that number if not succeed it.

If this pattern continues will be the second-highest amount of homicide we have had in a year dating back to 2014.

There’s something in the air in Augusta. It makes taking a breath that much harder.

“Who would have thought my niece was gonna get gunned down at that time? Just like those boys’ mothers ... fathers. Who would have thought their kid go to activity to play just playing ... doing what they do,” said Jamila McDaniel, Arbrie Anthony.


A normal day has turned into the new normal in Augusta. Twenty-one dead under 25 in the last year.

“These babies are not even living to see 18. My niece didn’t even live to see nine,” she said.

Names have turned into numbers ... numbers into statistics.

“We thought with my niece that this will be a wake-up call, but then here you go again. You got a 15, and here you go again, you got another one,” said McDaniel.

We met with Matthew Fraser with 100 Black Men to see what we’re missing.

“You can’t ask them to put down what they already have in their hands, which is guns, drugs if you’re not going to replace it and put something else in it,” he said. “These teens, they just want somebody that will listen. It’s just about listening, so listen to them and let them talk to you. It’s not always about giving the best advice or telling them what direction to go in.”

It might just work.

“If you stay in a barber shop, pretty soon you’re going to get a haircut,” said Fraser.

The Augusta chapter of 100 Black Men mentors 27 young men. They are starting a new enrollment process in June and are accepting 25 more.