LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It's a record-setting year for gun violence in Louisville.
Police confirmed the latest victim was found dead near the Pleasure Ridge Park area on Monday, bringing the homicide count to 142 while the non-fatal shooting count is at 519.
Victims of gun violence and trauma doctors know the impact of those numbers too well.
Each time Krista Gwynn hears of another shooting death, she relives her son's murder last year. She and her husband, Navada, fought tears while remembering their 19-year-old son Christian Gwynn. He was killed last December.
"It's like losing our son all over again and it's just, a shame that we have to wake up every day and know it's another family hurting as bad as we are hurting," Krista said.
That's why they're working to help other families experiencing the grief they are.
"We want to show other gun violence victims that they're not alone. And that we want to help a little bit of their pain. Just to ease just a little bit of it. And it's a shame that this is adding on top of it every day. That, more and more are dying. But we're just telling them that we're here and to keep the faith and keep hope," she said between tears.
It's University of Louisville Hospital Trauma Surgeon Dr. Keith Miller's job to help gunshot victims. He says gun violence is a public health crisis and should be treated as such.
"We readily accept that we're going to have to take a public health approach to COVID, and we've not done that traditionally with gun violence. You might say well, 'public health approaches help with infectious disease and maybe not so much for traumatic injury,' and that's just not the case either. I mean, we've seen public health approaches particularly with motor vehicle accident injuries and fatalities," Miller explained.
Miller says there's a real impact beyond terms such as 'homicides' or 'fatal' versus 'non-fatal' or 'non-life-threatening.'
"You know, 'non-life-threatening' injuries are a threat to that individual's life for the rest of their lives, however long that may be," he said.
The Gwynns agree with that. They're hoping for anything to curb gun violence, including talks they have had with FBI leaders and the recently installed Interim Police Chief Yvette Gentry. The couple is also still hoping for a lead and arrest in their son's case that's gone cold.
"You're petrified no matter how you move in the city now," Krista added. "You're scared, like...If I pull up at this red light and the car pulled beside me...Is that the last time? It just don't make sense. I don't know how to explain it than the fact that it's senseless violence."
The Gwynn family is holding a food drive this Thanksgiving for families of gun violence victims. They're also adopting a family as part of a program to help ease the burden of gift-giving this Christmas, called the Holiday Love Project.