People Speak Out About Mtgy. Homicides; Say Focus Should Be on the Victims

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By Jessica Gertler

From Montgomery -- A rash of homicides, three in three days, has people speaking out. Some say the focus should be on the lives lost, and not the circumstances that may have led to their deaths.

So far this year Montgomery has had 29 homicides. Most of which police say were not random and some were linked to drugs.

The latest happened Monday. Police say a shooting at a South Montgomery apartment complex left one man dead and two seriously injured.

"They were out here on a drug deal, and things didn't go well," says Montgomery Police Chief Kevin Murphy at the scene. 

"You know even though their loved one may have been involved in the crime, there is still someone that loves them," says Janette Grantham with Victims of Crime Leniency, better known as VOCAL. "It is still a person. It is still a live person. Someone loves them."

The non-profit organization is an advocate for victim's rights and helps families overcome the loss.

"Even I have heard some people say well he was a drug dealer. Well so what? Somebody loved him. He was a person. He did not deserve to die, because he dealt in drugs," says Grantham.

Another of the 29 people killed in Montgomery this year was Darryl Morris. Police say he was fatally shot while someone tried robbing him.

Ja'Mel Brown was his close friend and describes the pain.

"You've got to understand that's a piece of you gone. Me and my sister are still dealing with D.J. to this day. His mom is still dealing with the loss," says Brown.

Grantham says 29 families are dealing with the loss of their loved one. That should speak louder than what caused the crime.

"The victim had no choice. Nobody has to die," she says.

Alabama News Network did reach out to Montgomery Police, but we were told that there is nothing additional they can say on camera at this point.

VOCAL employees say they are working with Montgomery Police and the victims' families to figure out how to stop violent crime in the city. 

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