ADDIS, LA (WAFB) - A woman in Addis says she was praying the shootings were over. Now she says those criminals need a reality check and she's ready to give one.
Carolyn Clayton says she's tired of the tears every time she turns on her television. Now she's sharing her own story, hoping someone will see it and change.
Clayton has family pictures all around her home. But there's one person missing in most of them, her oldest son.
She says 18 years ago, she lost him to the prison system. He is serving a 40 year sentence, for manslaughter. Clayton says in 1995, she was inside her home doing drugs. Her daughters and another son were also inside. Her oldest son, who was 17 at the time, was working for a drug dealer. But when he refused to keep selling, the dealer threatened to shoot everyone inside. She says her son fired first, out of fear.
There are separate pictures on the wall of Clayton with her son. One from Easter, the other from Mother's Day. Those pictures are the only way she can see her son when she wants to.
"I cook his favorite food, he can't be here to eat it. I go to visit, I can't get a hug like I want a hug," she said.
Now, after 14 years of being drug-free, she is on a mission to get her community to understand there are some people making permanent decisions for temporary problems.
"Its just got to quit. Blacks killing blacks. We need to stop,"
She says when she closes her eyes, she sees the flashing blue lights on past crimes. Last month, there were back to back shootings in West Baton Rouge at neighboring gas stations. A Brusly High football player was gunned down. A week later, another man was killed. Sheriffs deputies say it was a retaliation.
"Love one another, that's all Ms. Clayton ask y'all to do. Stop the violence. Love one another," Clayton said through tears. "These tears are not just coming from my eyes."
Part of the problem, she says, young men are more worried about their status on the streets than staying free. She says its time the problem-causers take a look at the people they're hurting and ask themselves, was it worth it.
"It's just sad. It's sad. I don't need to see this. Mothers, grandmothers, children. They don't need to see this."