Tammy Nimmers of Moline, who lost her son to a fatal shooting on Jan. 1, 2011, said the word needs to get out to young people that gun violence is never an answer.
“So many young African-American boys’ lives have been taken along with my son,” Nimmers said Thursday. “Each one of them is a senseless murder.”
Nimmers will participate in a National Night Out on Crime event Saturday at LeClaire Park, Davenport.
The event’s organizer, Pastor Elizabeth Sanders of True Faith Deliverance Ministry of Bettendorf, said the purpose of the event is to raise awareness of gun violence and help victims’ families.
“We need to stop black-on-black crime and hate crime,” Sanders said. “Too many mothers are hurting because they lost a child. Two families have been destroyed because of gun violence, and now there’s the person in prison and the person in the graveyard.”
Sanders said she was 8 years old living in Mississippi when she witnessed one of her brothers fatally shoot one of her other brothers.
“It’s not just my family,” she said. “It’s a whole lot of families.”
Sanders said she was inspired to organize Saturday’s event after marching in the Trayvon Martin rally in Davenport this spring.
Martin was the Florida youth fatally shot Feb. 26 in a confrontation with a neighborhood watch captain who has claimed self-defense. Martin was unarmed and wearing a hoodie.
Nimmers’ son, Earl Darvelle Nimmers IV, was 20 when he was shot to death following a New Year’s party at the Casa Loma Inn and Suites at 6014 N. Brady St., Davenport.
Darceil Burrage, 20, of Rock Island was sentenced to 35 years in prison earlier this year after admitting to shooting Nimmers in the back of the head.
“Parents need to come together,” Tammy Nimmers said of Saturday’s event. “They can help lift each other and know they’re not alone.”
Nimmers said her daughter is graduating next week from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo.
“As I get closer to her graduation, my heart sinks deeper and deeper,” Nimmers said. “She was really hoping her brother could be alive to see her walk. Now that will never happen.”