Family of mass-shooting victim, activists push for gun violence prevention

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 5:10 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The father of a 14-year-old girl who lost her life in a mass shooting last weekend wants to start an organization to curb gun violence among kids and teens in North Charleston.

Six days ago, Ronald Smith received a phone call no parent should ever have to take.

“I got the phone call and I said, ‘It can’t be real,’” Smith said.

His 14-year-old daughter, Ronjanae, was shot and killed a party in her own neighborhood.

“She was a great daughter, smart, bright, keep everybody smiling,” Smith said.

The shooting also left 14 others wounded. Local activist and family friend Skye Everson said the gun violence has been a tragic, but transformative moment for the community.

“Let this be something that everyone can come together and say, I remember that young lady died and it hurts, but she was the change that allowed everyone to become better,” Everson said.

Smith is teaming up with local activists to build an organization to help kids in crisis stay off the street, with the goal of stopping gun violence among young adults.

“We are going to give back to them, try and pull them out of the streets,” Smith said. “We’re going to take back the streets.”

Local youth director Donnimechia Singleton is helping with the cause along with Smith and Everson.

“We want to reach out to the kids, we want to reach out to the parents, we want to reach out our city officials, our state officials,” Singleton said. “What’s going to help us is funding.”

Smith wants their efforts to ultimately turn into a foundation called “The Beautiful Ronjanae Smith Positive Vibes Ending Gun Violence.”

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