There have been over 100 homicides in the county in 2021.By Chris Hoffman

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you look around Tina Ford’s apartment, you’ll see the love she has for her children.

“Armani was a good kid. He was mild mannered,” she said about her son.

READ MORE: With 67 Steelers' Sacks, Bordas & Bordas Donates $33,500 To Ronald McDonald House

Ford said he knew at a young age listening was a virtue.

“I used to always say to him, your mom or your sister talks so much. Where do you fit in. He would say mom everything doesn’t always need to have a response. He said. I listen,” Ford told KDKA.

He was a football star at Clairton High School and wanted to start a cleaning business.

Then April 26, 2019, Tina’s life changed forever. She was at a hair salon with her daughter who was about to leave for the Air Force.

“When I got the call, I just instantly dropped to my knees and was like ‘they killed my son,’” Ford said.

Armani was shot and killed. His mother said it was a robbery. The suspects would be caught, but her son was gone.

“I’m learning to deal, but you don’t get over it,” Ford said while in her apartment.

Every time she sees headlines of shootings and violence, it reopens the wounds.

“This is not a club for everybody. It’s supposed to be very exclusive and it just seems likely club that we just keep getting members every other day,” Ford said about the more than 100 homicides in Allegheny County in 2021.

The medical examiner reported as of December 1st, there have been 115 murders.

There were 114 last year, 95 in 2019, 110 in 2018, and 113 in 2017.

“It’s not just one number on a piece of paper. It’s not just one person’s name. It’s a lot of individuals who are affected by this,” Deputy Director of the Allegheny County Health Department Dr. Roderick Harris said.

Dr. Harris is with the Health Department’s Office of Violence Prevention. He said what we’re seeing is a public health crisis because these are premature deaths.

READ MORE: Lawrenceville Community Groups Hosts Virtual Meeting On Proposed Amazon Facility

“They’re between that age of 15-24. They’re dying way before we’d expect that age group to be dying,” Dr. Harris said.

According to the county medical examiner, 51 of the murders were of people 25 and younger. That’s about 45 percent, nearly half of the homicides this year.

“We try to intervene mediate, and disrupt the transmission and disease of violence,” program manager for the Office of Violence Prevention Ross Watson Jr. said.

He works on the streets of Wilkinsburg as one of eight people on the team. They have conversations with people in the neighborhood and work with community groups to be one united effort. The goal, to gain people’s trust and steer them away from crime.

“We are familiar with those communities. To see us, the community, business owners and residents welcome us,” Watson Jr. said.

Dr. Harris said while homicide numbers may be up, his office feels their work of the past five years has impacted lives and prevented some people from going down a path of violence.

In some cases, that means helping people finish their education and find work that keeps them out of poverty.

“Poverty often times is a contributing factor to why we have so many murders in this community,” Dr. Harris said.

Their hope is over the next few years is for community groups to grow and gain stability. The office wants to be a resource to connect those groups.

“The community knows what it needs more than we do because they live there. They work there, and they’re from there,” Watson Jr. said.

Ford currently Leads her own group called MOMS, Mothers of Murdered Sons. Her mission is to prevent other parents from suffering the same loss that she did.

“We have to bring the village back. We have to be able to talk to others people’s children without that parent being offended. We need to work together,” Ford said.

She said we can’t continue to live like this.

“In five years if we keep this up, we’re going to cancel ourselves out. We are going to cancel ourselves. That’s real,” she said.

MORE NEWS: 3 Injured After Shooting In Parking Lot Of Clearview Mall

Ford said a wake-up call that everyone needs to hear.