Louisville father creates memorial for young homicide victims


by Michelle Arnold


Posted on July 11, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 11 at 7:41 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky.(WHAS11) -- A Louisville father whose three sons were killed in 2008 is now working with community leaders to help commemorate young lives lost to violence. Thursday, a new memorial will be unveiled in West Louisville, paying tribute to young homicide victims.

Marc Hampton hugged Robin Shields, together they shared a moment only a parent who loses a child can understand.

“You never get past it; you never go a day without remembering and thinking about it,” Hampton said.

The parents of Aaron Shields, Demar, Jemar, and Marc Claybrooks stood together quietly, overcome by happy memories of their sons.

“This is where our children caught the bus at; this is where they played at,” Hampton said.

The memorial will be near The the Garden of Angels, a site dedicated to the four boys who were killed in December 2008 after they got in to a car with Herbert Lee. Lee was in a stolen car and crashed trying to out run police.

Hampton said he was tired of going to the site of the fatal crash and that's how The Garden of Angels came about.

“We erect those sites because that’s the last place they were,” Hampton said.

“This will be a great place as an option for violent crime victims, especially children and teenagers to come,” community activist Christopher 2X said.

It was Hampton's idea to create the spot. He said he plans to add benches bearing the names of child homicide victims.

“Their loved ones can also come to have somewhere to reflect in more of a positive environment,” Hampton said.

He also said he wants it to raise awareness.

“We really honestly do not want to add any more children to this memorial,” Hampton said.

An effort to stop the violence so no one else has to experience the same pain he has.

“We want the violence to stop, all of the unnecessary killings to stop,” Hampton said.

Hampton plans to bring his newborn son Amare to the Garden of Angels. He said it's a place where the sweet memories from the past enable him to look to the future, not just for himself, but for everyone affected by violence.