Victims of gun violence honored, remembered in drive-thru memorial at Detroit park

Family of Jada Rankin holds drive-thru memorial at Palmer Park

Jada Rankin was 15-years-old when she was shot outside her grandmother’s home in 2016. Her family wants other families who have lost loved ones to gun violence that they are not alone.
Jada Rankin was 15-years-old when she was shot outside her grandmother’s home in 2016. Her family wants other families who have lost loved ones to gun violence that they are not alone.

DETROIT – A memorial was held Sunday for victims of gun violence.

It was held by a family that knows that grief too well.

Jada Rankin was 15-years-old when she was shot outside her grandmother’s home in 2016. Her family wants other families who have lost loved ones to gun violence that they are not alone.

Sunday would have been Jada Rankin’s 20th birthday. Instead of mourning, her mother worked to console others in a similar situation.

Tawanna Rankin’s life took a different route when her daughter was fatally shot.

“Even though it took four years, I still never lost hope for getting justice for Jada,” Tawanna Rankin said.

While Jada’s murder was eventually solved, the grief still remained for her loved ones. She used that grief to create a nonprofit organization to help others going through the same thing.

“We’re actually honoring the memory of families who lost children or loved ones to gun violence,” Rankin said.

More than 70 photos of victims of gun violence lined up Sunday at Palmer Park for family members to see their loved ones matter. Rankin said the hardest part is getting over the ages of some of the victims.

“We have babies out here that were three months old,” Rankin said.

Several Detroit City Council members also attended the memorial in hopes of spreading awareness of what these families have to go through.


About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.