Vigil remembers shooting victim
Published 10:03 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Diana Yvette Jones had planned to move off Hunter Street as soon as she saved enough money with her new nursing career, her aunt said.
But the 28-year-old never got that chance. She was killed early Thursday morning as she visited a friend across the street.
A candlelight vigil on Tuesday night in Jones’ memory included calls to bring her killer to justice and renewed pleas to stop the violence in the community.
Email newsletter signup
About 100 people gathered at the corner of Hunter Street and Dill Road and walked in a slow, cold drizzle to Jones’ house at 310 Hunter St., singing “We Shall Overcome” as they marched. Jones was visiting on the porch across the street early Thursday morning when a spray of bullets from a gunfight went through the covered porch’s walls, killing Jones and injuring another woman.
“Let this be a lesson,” said the Rev. Wallace Johnson, who helped lead the ceremony. “This is only stopping when we stop it. This is nobody’s fault but ours. We have nobody to blame but ourselves.”
Family members, friends and even some who didn’t know Jones personally packed the porch, front yard and street in front of Jones’ house. They prayed, recited the Lord’s Prayer and listened to stories from people who were close to her.
Olivia Knight, Jones’ aunt by marriage, told a humorous story about how Jones could not pronounce her name when she was younger and eventually just started calling her “Auntie.”
“She was the kind of person that anybody could attach to,” Knight said. “It’s time to put down all of this violence. Innocent people getting killed for no reason — it’s too much.”
Knight urged would-be troublemakers to stop the violence.
“It ain’t helping nobody,” Knight said. “What is it going to prove? If you want to prove a point, go to church. Graduate from school. Get a job. Make somebody proud, if it ain’t nobody but yourself.”
Jones’ young cousins Inkira Smith and Makayla Boone also said they missed their cousin.
“She was a good person,” Makayla said. “I loved her to death.”
Minister Brenda Joyner, vice president of the South Suffolk/Pleasant Hill Civic Association, said Jones was a “sweet, kind-hearted young lady.”
She, too, issued a call for an end to the violence.
“It is so much easier to love,” she said. “It is easier to smile than to frown, and it’s easier to love than to hate.”
Johnson said he will press city officials and police to bring the perpetrator to justice.
“They will not rest and they will not be at peace until they give account for what they have done,” he said.