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Stories about kids, guns and how to stop the violence. Precious Lives, created by 371 Productions, is a 2-year, 100-part weekly radio series about gun violence and young people in the Milwaukee area. The series applies a public health lens to each story to help listeners understand the full scope of the problem: who are the victims and the shooters; how are the weapons obtained; and what can we change about the environment that contributes to violence in Milwaukee?

#023 Precious Lives: The Shooting at the Vigil

Speakers talk about neighborhood violence during a vigil for 18­ year old murder victim Kendrai T.L. Walker Friday, May 22, 2015 in an alley near N. 28th and Auer Streets in Milwaukee, WI."

Vigils are meant to offer solidarity and comfort to grieving people, a pause from the chaos of murder. But in May as a group gathered for 18 year old Kendrai Walker’s vigil - not even 24 hours after his death - gunmen opened fire.

Bullets struck Kendrai’s mother, Debra Hopkins. Community organizer Shawn Moore was there, talking to Debra when it happened.

“I'm tired of the teddy bears and the bottles and the candles because it doesn't represent life... and you drive down these blocks and it’s a cemetery,” says Moore.

Moore is part of the Helping Others Obtain Direction, or H.O.O.D., Ambassador program in the Garden Homes neighborhood. It’s a program aimed at empowering community members, and interrupting the violence. You can find more information at

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