Video by Jacob Thompson
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Mamie Rudolph held her mother’s hand while she died after being shot by her step dad. She was 14 years old. Now, she’s 48.
Rudolph, one of four speakers Saturday who lost loved ones to gun violence at a Youngstown United As One anti violence forum at the Boys and Girls Club of Youngstown on Oak Hill Avenue, said media and Hollywood get gun violence all wrong.
“First she was barely breathing. Then she was snoring. Then there was nothing,” Rudolph said of her mother, Gloria Rudolph’s death April 26, 1988 on the couch in their home in the 1100 block of Verona Avenue after Gloria Rudolph was shot by her husband, who is not Mamie Rudolph’s father.
The mother of three boys herself and a U.S. Navy veteran said it has been over 30 years and she still is not over the death of her mother.
“It still hurts,” she said. “All these years, you would think I would get over it by now.”
Rudolph, along with Danetta Floyd, whose son Savon Young was killed in April of 2019 on Tod Lane, spoke at the gathering about how gun violence has affected their lives and what happens to a family after someone is killed.
In 2020, Youngstown saw 98 people shot, including 27 of 28 homicide victims, an increase over 2019 when 40 people were wounded, including all 19 homicide victims.
So far this year, 26 people have been wounded, eight more than at this same time last year, including all seven of this year’s homicide victims.
Darrell Jones, head of Youngstown United As One, said this is the first event where the group has tried to address the violence in the city because too many young people are being hurt or killed.
“We want to give the message that enough is enough,” Jones said. “We want to spread our wings a bit.”
He said it was not hard to find someone who has been impacted by gun violence to speak on the topic because they want to let people know how violence has changed their lives.
“It wasn’t hard at all,” Jones said.
Floyd’s pain is a little more raw because her son’s death was just two years ago. Young, 25, was killed April 9, 2019, in the 100 block of Tod Lane after a shootout broke out in front of his home. Over 60 rounds were fired, and two cars ended up crashing.
Police have not said if Young was a target or hit by accident in the gunfire. No arrests have been made as of yet.
Floyd said the pain is at times overwhelming.
“It’s terrible,” she said. “Savon was a loving person. He loved his family. When somebody needed him he would be there.”
Floyd said she wanted to impart on the attendees how important it is to tell your children how you feel about them.
“Tell your kids you love them because you never know what will happen,” Floyd said.
Rudolph said guns and gun violence are glorified and there is nothing glorious about either, which is one of the reasons why she wanted to speak.
“I think it’s good [to speak] to help people’s awareness so they know it’s not all glamour,” Rudolph said.
At the time her mother was shot, two other teens were in the house, newspaper accounts said.
Rudolph joined the Navy to “do something different,” in her own words, but also to get away. She was an aviation support technician on the aircraft carrier USS Roosevelt and was in the Navy for nine years. She is the mother of twin 18 year old boys and a 13-year-old boy.
Her sons know about their grandmother, Rudolph said.
“I tell them she was a beautiful woman and she was strong,” Rudolph said.
You can watch all four speakers below.
Melody Hall – Lost her son to gun violence.
Ronald Shadd – Lost father to gun violence when he was 10.
Danetta Floyd – Lost her son to gun violence 2 years ago.
Mamie Rudolph – Lost mother to gun violence when she was 14.