NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A nonprofit wants answers for the mothers of three local homicide victims, whose cases have gone cold. A new campaign called “The Nashville, TN Three” aims to shed light on these murders, and hopefully get them solved.
Partners in the Struggle is organizing these efforts, which included an afternoon gathering with the mothers of each victim on Saturday, Nov. 18.
Amelia Griswould lost both her sons to gun violence, including 15-year-old Davontae Ziegler, who died in 2015, and 47-year-old Dewaine Leggs, who died in 2021. Leggs’ case is one Partners in the Struggle hopes to see solved.
“He was shot multiple times and put in his van and drove to a church parking lot and set on fire,” Griswould described. “My son did not deserve to be murdered in that fashion. My son was a good person.”
On top of wanting her oldest son’s case solved, Griswould wants parents to secure their weapons and be held accountable if their child goes out and shoots someone.
“Every time I can open up my mouth about gun violence, about the dangers of young people getting guns in their hands, I want to talk,” she said.
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The moms described their efforts as a nationwide campaign to shed light on each case.
Nedra Jones and Tracey Shepherd believe they do know who killed their sons, but they have yet to see their days in court.
“I don’t know if I want to know why, but I’d want to know why, if that makes sense…Because they took a father, and his children are here, left without a father,” said Jones, the mother of Montinez Johnson.
Shepherd lost her son, Joe Johnson, in 2018 and is frustrated his case hasn’t been closed: “The video that I seen, a guy is coming from my son’s side of the car, shooting him, jumping over, sliding on the side, just everything. But you ain’t got no evidence?”
However, Shepherd is a woman of faith and believes she will have answers one day. Until then, she urged her son’s killer(s) to come forward and asked anyone with information to put themselves in her shoes.
“If a lot of people don’t read the Bible, God gets ugly in the Bible, because when He gets angry, He gets ugly, so they don’t want to deal with that, but that’s what they’re coming up to,” Shepherd explained.
News 2 reached out to officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department after Saturday’s event, who said they would check with detectives for any specific updates on Monday, Nov. 20. However, they said they appreciate the efforts of Earl Jordan, founder and CEO of Partners in the Struggle, and his efforts to combat gun violence.
Metro police added that homicide victims are never forgotten and urged anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME. Tipsters can stay anonymous and could qualify for a $5,000 reward for information in homicide cases.