First birthday since her son’s murder, mother organizes balloon release at Crown Hill Cemetery

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Hundreds of families in Indy impacted by violence are suffering through this holiday season. Each of them handles grief differently, and some, like Kendra Ford and Kimberly Roberts, handle it together.

Kendra and Kimberly’s sons, Braxton and Jalen, were killed on February 5, 2020 inside an apartment on the northeast side. Kimari Hunt and Marcel Wills also died that night.

“A lot of family, friends, a lot of prayer,” Kendra said. “You know, it’s difficult. But, I’m getting through it.”

Thursday afternoon, Kendra held a balloon release in honor of Braxton’s 22nd Birthday.

“This is how I have to spend my boy’s 22nd Birthday,” Kendra said. “Here at the cemetery, but I’m celebrating him today.”

Kimberly rushed to the gathering from work. This pair has built an inseparable bond.

“I will always support,” Kimberly said. “I broke my neck to get here. I was not going to miss it for nothing in the world. I will always be here to support Kendra and be here for Braxton.”

When we talk about gun violence, families like these are collateral damage from these crimes. Two hundred twenty-five people have been killed in Indy so far this year.

“The pain is just unbearable,” Kendra said. “We just have to love each other, just stick together and be each other’s support.”

There are four teens facing robbery and murder charges in the death of these young people. The mothers say their trial is set to begin in June.

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