Champaign mother pleas for end to violence

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Darrion White is accused in the shooting death of 16-year-old David Sankey. Investigators still have not found the gun used to fire that shot, but they say text messages on White’s phone were used as evidence to move forward. They also used a witness account from a Champaign investigator. Sankey’s family has been following the case closely. 

They were in court yesterday. After that, they reached out to us, asking if we would share their plea to stop gun violence. 

“Don’t no mother should have to be broken because I am broken behind this,” said Sankey’s mother, Yvonne Johnson. 

That pain is what Yvonne Johnson is reminded of every day since her son, David Sankey, was killed. Sankey was shot in the head last August, just five minutes away from his home in the Garden Hills neighborhood. Johnson wants her story to be the start of making something happen.

“We have to figure out a way to get these guns out of these kid’s hands,” said Johnson. 

“If there’s anything we can do to stop this violence – stop these kids from killing kids,” said Sankey’s grandmother Lagaytrics Minnieweather.

Johnson and Minnieweather, are working with their church to let the community know: This is everyone’s problem. 
“What we are wanting to do is express to the community the purpose of coming together to help curtail some of the violence,” said Dublin Street Church of Christ Pastor Courtney Caruthers.

The church hosts programs that help families that have been touched by violence in any way. They are asking the community to get behind programs that will keep kids off the streets. 

“I just want to see the parents, friends, anybody who can grab ahold of these kids and say stop it, just stop. Because it’s a hurtful thing, there’s too much wait, you know what I mean? Just wasting their lives,” said Minnieweather. 

They want to respond to violence before it happens, not after. 

“When you look at the police, they’re doing all they can, but it’s gonna take the community and for us to find a way for us to interact with these kids,” said Johnson. 

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