Mother wants to help other families who lost loved ones to senseless violence


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Laronda Townsend said that not a day goes by that she doesn’t think of her son, Darrius Townsend.

“He was a people person. He was a good kid. He was respectable, and he was a good kid,” Townsend said.

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She said her son was taken from her on June 1, 2011.

That’s when he was shot and killed in Chattanooga.

Darrius was 17-years-old.

“I had so much anger and hatred that I had to take it and put it in a positive and this to me is positive, M.A.S.K., you know, because I’m a mother, and it’s a senseless killing,” Townsend said.

She said she started M.A.S.K., Mothers Against Senseless Killings, in hopes to reach out and support families going through a similar situation.

“I know the pain and, like I said, I’m here for any parent that lost a child. I’m here. We can get together, talk and just grieve,” Townsend said.

M.A.S.K. and the Citizens Safety Coalition are holding an event on Sunday from noon to 5p at the Tennessee River Park.

It’s for anyone who has lost a child to violence.

Towsend said there will be a poetry reading, speakers, food, music, activies and information on life insurance.

“Don’t nobody deserve to get killed with no violence like gun violence in the street or just left out you know cold-blooded, it’s just, I just don’t see how people live with themselves like that,” Townsend said.

Townsend said for her the event is a thank you to the community for their help.

It’s also a way to remember her son.

Monday is his birthday.

Townsend says he would have turned 24.