New study to focus on families affected by violence

Pegasus Institute looking at growing violence

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Different families.  Different stories.  All connected by tragedy.

“You don't have answers.  You don't have closure.  You don't know which way to go,” Nicole Lemmons, mother of Thomas Ashley, said.

Lemmons' son was shot and killed on November 30, 2010. Nineteen-year-old Thomas Ashley was shot in the back while riding his bike in the Portland neighborhood.

“Inside I'm dying.  I'll never know how many grandkids I would've had.  I'll never know what his future would've been like,” Lemmons said.

Lemmons is one of the 30 family members who are participating in a study about life after violence. The study is led by the Pegasus Institute, a Louisville based group.

“We often think of these investigations ending with a criminal trial or ending when the news media leaves but this affects individuals, and families and communities for years and years and we want to be able to tell that story,” Josh Crawford, Pegasus Institute, said.

“I just hope that with this organization hopefully, we can find some kind of solution that will help all of us as a family,” Sherry Morris, mother of Michael Harris, said.

Morris' son Michael Harris was shot and killed in December 2007. She joins the other families participating in the study like Lisa New who lost her son Jordan just last year.

“Hopefully we get some kind of peace out of it, you know?” New said.

Families broken but taking steps toward a better future for themselves and others.

Even though the Pegasus Institute is leading the study, other prominent state and local leaders were also involved in the meeting. The goal is to finish the study by December to better learn how to better serve families affected by violence.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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