“My grandson was shot and killed December 5, 2001. He was six years old and had just gotten home from school. I was going to a Christmas award ceremony and he went out to my car to get a package for me. He was gone a long time. My granddaughter came in and said, Kieris went out the front door and when they started shooting he didn’t come back in. There he was, down on the porch. Dead. Kids were taught to drop down when they hear gunshots. That’s how bad it was.
The bullets went through three or four houses and barely missed other people. I was living in a war zone.
I was taking care of Kieris while my daughter was at college at UAB. It was her first year and she wanted to get established and a place for them to live and a school for him. My grandson fulfilled his purpose at a young age. He loved people and asked everyone ‘Are you my cousin?’ He would knock women down trying to open the door for her. He was a little gentleman. His death was a catalyst that pulled together after he died. A neighborhood watch program started and people came from everywhere to our community. Leaders came together to help.
We started our Bullshead Community Action organization in 2002 after Kieris was killed. We also had a program called Weed and Seed. The purpose was to weed our community of crime and violence. We need to start that again. There are no activities in our area for our kids to have things to do. The parents don’t have transportation to get them to other areas for activities. I am known as Aunt Martha in the community and do what I can, but many older people have died or people have moved on and there are too many abandoned houses. We need families back here.”