Family of teen shot, killed calls for end to gun violence

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An undated courtesy photo of Taijion Gant

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — As the family of a teen shot and killed in Lansing mourns his death, community members came together to help pay for his funeral.

Taijion Gant, 17, was killed Monday in Ferris Park. Two others were injured. Friday, Lansing police announced Denzel Gibbons, 19, of Lansing was been charged with seven counts, including assault with intent to murder, assault with a dangerous weapon and five weapons charges.

Saturday, one after another, cars were lined in the Church in the City parking lot near downtown Lansing, where a car wash was held to raise funds for Gant’s funeral.

“We’re reaching out to the community because, when you’re in a time of need, who do you look to? Your community,” said Gloria Jones, Gant’s grandmother.

Jones described Gant as a fun-loving teen who had a gift with numbers.

“He liked playing basketball. he liked being with his friends,” she said. “This kid was smart as a whip. But his life was cut off too soon.”

Monday’s shooting was one of several that took place in Lansing and nationwide. On Saturday, August 3, two mass shootings took place in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

Jones said it’s an epidemic that has to stop.

“We must come together as one people so that we can fight against this gun violence, the brutality. I want it to cease and desist,” she said. “But we’ve got to come together as a community. When you have numbers coming together, you can do some awesome things.”

And as community members worked to raise money for Gant’s funeral, Jones had a message for parents.

“Cover your children in prayer. Always remind them that you love them,” she said. “Keep an open door, let them know they can come to you in time of need.”

***A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled Taijion Gant’s name. It has since been corrected.

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