Families of murder victims hold candlelight vigil in Bridgeport during Homicide Victims Awareness Month

The candlelight vigil organized by Dawn Spearman, founder of the You Are Not Alone (YANA) group.

Nicole Alarcon Soares and Frank Recchia

Nov 30, 2023, 1:33 AM

Updated 182 days ago

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Families of murder victims gathered in Bridgeport for a candlelight vigil on Wednesday at the Majestic Park.
In May, Gov. Ned Lamont recognized Nov. 20 through Dec. 20 as Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness Month.
The candlelight vigil organized by Dawn Spearman, founder of the You Are Not Alone (YANA) group.
Spearman said she was grateful to learn that state officials had created Homicide Victims Awareness Month this year to let families know they are not alone, and to promote justice.
"That relationship that you share with that loved one that you lost is no longer there, you can't seem to get it together, and when you're doing it alone it's hard, and I don't want another family to deal with what I had to deal with," said Spearman.
Spearman says families often feel they are not supported.
"You never really get over it and especially when you're dealing with the grief by yourself. A lot of people don't understand the grief. You've actually lost a part of you," said Spearman.
More than 20 family members of victims gathered with candles and held pictures of the lives lost to homicide.
A devoted parent, Teresa Jones, shared memories of her 30-year-old son Tykeem Jones, who was shot to death in 2021.
"He'd give you the shirt off his back, and everybody can tell you that," said Jones.
Jones has found strength by reaching out to other families through YANA.
"I love all my kids, I have three. But he was the baby, and he was the most loving one. He stayed under me; now I don't have anyone," said Jones.
YANA activists reminded people to come forward if they can help solve a homicide and bring justice to all the families who have lost someone.


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