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Countywide peaceful sign waving rallies were held in Titusville, Cocoa, Melbourne and Palm Bay on Sunday, May 2. Florida Today
COCOA — Nearly two days after learning someone shot and killed her 21-year-old son just a few blocks away, Shannon Rowe attended a Sunday rally to raise awareness about the recent spate of gun violence in Brevard County.
Just a few feet away was Anita Gibson, another mother whose son was gunned down four years before. The two women talked as others looked on beneath the noon sun, bonding somberly in their roles as women who lose a loved one to homicide.
‘It’s just senseless … It’s going to take all of us, the whole community to do something about this,” said Rowe, whose son Ricky Albury III was found fatally wounded in a car on Saturday.
Cocoa residents rally to draw attention to gun violence as counter protesters ride by with upside down flag – a symbol of distress frequently used by pro-gun proponents. (Photo: J.D. Gallop)
The two were among nearly 100 people who turned out at Fiske Boulevard and State Road 520 waving signs calling for an end to gun-related violence, as well as fresh thinking on solutions to to the problem and ways reach out to young adults.
“This went really well. We want to rebuild our relations in the community, and from that, we’ll do whatever it takes to make changes, channel the energy of our youth, whether it’s through mentoring, boxing, whatever it takes, we have to change,” Cocoa City Councilmember Lavander Hearn said after the event.
Lavander Hearn in front of State Attorney’s office in Viera (Photo: Tim Shortt)
The two-hour-long rallies — held in Cocoa, Melbourne, Titusville, and Palm Bay — were organized by Hearn and drew other participants, including the advocacy group Moms Demand Action.