INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — For the first time since the murders of Kimari Hunt, 21, Braxton Ford, 20, Marcel Wills, 20, and Jalen Roberts, 19, three of the four mothers reunited outside of the unit where their children were fatally shot on February 5, 2020.
“To know this is how I’m going to have to remember my son ‘til I die is overwhelming,” Kendra Ford, Braxton’s mother, said. “It hurts so bad, so badly. I would not wish that on anybody.”
Nearly four months have passed, yet grief’s relentless sting continues.
“I cry every day, every single day, from the time I get up in the morning he’s on my mind to the time I go to bed he’s on my mind,” Ford said. “Not only do I think of Braxton, I think of the other ones that was involved too: Kimari and Jalen and Marcel.”
Roberts is planning a balloon release for Jalen for his 20th birthday on Sunday. While she will always honor him, his birthday is different now. Then again, everything is different now.
“They have destroyed our lives,” Roberts said. “When they took the four of them away, they took us away with them, because we are them. We birthed them, we carried them. That’s a part of us that’s buried down in the ground.”
They urge parents to make sure they know how their children spend their time and how they feel.
“I think we need to pay more attention to our children,” Roberts said. “We need to monitor our children a little bit more closely that what we do. They constantly on their phones, their tablets, they have too much freedom and I just feel like we need to pay more attention to our children. Go in the bedrooms to see what they have in their bedrooms, look under the bed, look in the backpacks. That’s what I used to do in my house.”
Ford insists we all play a role in stopping violence in Indy.
“We need to stick together, and we need to start making changes,” Ford urged. “These senseless murders, they affect thousands of people. This particular incident affected four victims and four suspects.”
It impacted Det. David Miller with IMPD too. He worked around the clock with his team of detectives to make four arrests in these murders. Those arrests also involved four teens.
During our interview, we surprised the mothers with a chance to see Det. Miller again in person. Though their eyes were filled with tears from grief, the sight of the person who brought them some closure also offered them a moment of joy.
“We become police officers to help people, and especially in my position, you see the worst tragedies in life really day in day out, you lose sight of that,” Miller said. “Seeing the gratitude certainly helps remind you of why you took the position to begin with. The community coming together, and families like this, it gives you a sense of hope. “
No doubt if COVID-19 was not threatening its spread, they would have given him a long embrace.
“Oh my God, he is awesome,” Roberts exclaimed. “When I say God is a good God, God gave us a good team. Detective Miller is so phenomenal. He worked on this day and night and day and night. He kept his word to everything that he told us he would do, and he did.”