Family and friends gathered at Praises of Zion Baptist Church to pay their final respects to 8-year-old Jasmine Sanders, who was a victim of a gang shooting.
This is another loss for a family that recently lost Kimberly Bonds, 19, who was shot and killed outside an apartment complex in Athens, and Dominique Anderson, 38, who was shot and killed on the corner of 85th and Figueroa streets.
Even more devastating is that the suspected shooter, who is in custody, is Jasmine’s 13-year-old cousin. Apparently he was attempting to shoot at rival gang members but was unable to handle the weapon, sending bullets off target.
Family and friends who attended the funeral for Jasmine supported James Sanders and Shadonna Kinney, Jasmine’s parents, as they viewed their daughter for one final time.
Taliah Peterson, Jasmine’s aunt, wanted everybody to look at the brighter side of the situation.
“We should all be jealous,” Peterson said. “Because Jasmine is in a better place right now.”
Los Angeles Unified School District board member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte sent a message to parents that they need to check up on their children’s activities.
“You pay the rent and the mortgage,” LaMotte said. “So you have every right to go into your child’s room and see what they are doing.”
The message of “put down the guns and pick up a Bible” was said repeatedly during the service.
Perhaps parents should make troubled youths attend funerals of young adults who were lost to gang violence. It could be an eye opening experience for gang members.
It seems easy to pull the trigger and run off, and not have to see the devastating after effects of taking a life. Viewing Jasmine’s parents, family members, and friends break down in tears over their loss could be enough to make a person not want to take another person’s life. Not only one life is affected by a killing, many lives are affected.