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Flint mom makes urgent plea: ‘Put the gun down’

“If we’re gonna say hey, black lives matter, well make it matter. Make it matter,” Teresa Hamlet said. “Because we’re not making it matter if we stand back, letting people get away with murder.”
Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 5:39 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (7/15/2020) - “Put the gun down. Y’all don’t know what this do to people’s family,” Mom Teresa Hamlet said. “It tears us apart.”

It's been nearly two years since her son was shot and killed; and, no one has been charged.

In September 2018, 18-year-old Dairyon Walker was with a group of people in a Flint gas station parking lot when someone fired shots into the crowd.

As of July 12, 2020, Flint has had 23 homicides by shooting.

Teresa Hamlet knows she's not the only mother dealing with the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence.

She is speaking up, asking the community to step up.

“Two weeks before he got killed, he came to me and he said, ‘Mom, I just want to do right and get my life right,’” Hamlet explained.

Dairyon Walker died September 23, 2018. Hamlet said her then 18-year-old son had recently graduated from a juvenile detention school and got a job.

He was focused on taking care of his baby girl and being a better role model for his young brothers.

“He was just amazing. And for somebody to take him, it was devastating. My heart just hurts every day,” she said.

Hamlet explained on that September night, her son went to a club with some friends. He got into an argument with a different group, but left. She said that group tracked him down at the BP gas station on Clio Road.

Flint Police said someone fired into the crowd and Walker was hit. He died later that morning, but not before donating his organs.

“I can’t give up on him because he didn’t give up. His heart’s still beating somewhere, somebody got his heart. It’s still beating,” Hamlet said.

That's what has pushed her to keep his case a priority for investigators. She wants the shooter held accountable; but, she also wants to know why picking up a gun has become the answer to solving a dispute.

“We ain’t doing nothing but killing each other. We just out here just killing -- babies getting killed, innocent people getting killed, what is it going to take?” she asked.

As the two year anniversary of her son’s death approaches, she’s hopeful and prayerful the no-snitch mentality will stop and someone will help police solve the case.

“If we’re gonna say hey, black lives matter, well make it matter. Make it matter,” she said. “Because we’re not making it matter if we stand back, letting people get away with murder.”

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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