MONROEVILLE (KDKA) — A 12-year-old boy in Monroeville has decided he doesn’t want anything for Christmas this year; he told his grandmother he wants to give to those who feel the pain he feels after losing a loved one to gun violence.
“Today I want to give six families a Christmas gift because I lost my dad when I was 8,” Demetrius Broadnax Jr. said.
His father, Demetrius Broadnax Sr., was shot and killed early Sunday morning on Oct. 20, 2013. He was 27 years old. Jasmine Morris, 21, was also killed.
Both had been attending a private party in the lower level of the Diverse Banquet Hall on Kelly Street in Homewood.
“I’m still hurting. That pain will never go away,” Demetrius Jr. said.
This seventh grader, mature beyond his years, knows that others are feeling his same pain — others who too have lost loved ones to gun violence.
He told his grandmother Diana Broadnax he had a plan. They went to agencies and communities to find six families.
“He said, ‘Ma D, what if I give a blessing? I’d like to give a blessing to six families.’ He said six families that have felt what he feels,” Diana said.
Demetrius had saved $300. He gave each of those families $50. They received their gifts in council chambers in Monroeville. One by one, they each got their Christmas envelope.
They told their stories — each one heartbreaking. Tonya Moone talked about her son.
“My son was murdered five years ago on May 5, 2012,” she said. “When I heard [Demetrius] wanted to do this, I cried.”
Ebony Jones lost all of her brothers to gun violence — three of them.
“I just told my son — I was about to cry — ‘You don’t see that in children, better yet grown ups. You never see anything like that,'” she said. “It brings tears to my heart, but happy tears.”
Demetrius and his family have become good friends with the investigator in this case. Detective Bobby Shaw still pleads for a lead.
“This case is still unsolved. We are still actively pursuing the case and would encourage anyone with information to come forward,” he said.
As Demetrius handed out Christmas presents, he said, “We all went through the same thing, but different ways, but we still grieve.”