‘Hopefully, they hear my voice’: Victim’s mother takes stand against gun violence

Survivors and loved ones of gun violence victims are holding two separate events to rally against gun violence.
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 6:42 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Months after city leaders declared a gun violence crisis in Gainesville, one mother is leading the charge to stand up against these crimes.

On November 4th, 2019, Arash Nikoonejad became a victim of gun violence.

Zahra Abyazenjad, his mother, said Arash was on the way home when he was run over by a car and then shot in the back.

Arash managed to get inside his apartment where he later died.

Gainesville police detectives said they found his body four days later after responding to a well-being check.

Arash’s mom is distraught after his gruesome death, and she wants justice for her son.

“I am a mother; no family should go through what I go through. You think I need to keep talking about it? My son is going to be with me all the time,” said Abyazenjad.

She is taking action with a peaceful protest called " Shots Fired” in hopes of getting the attention of city leaders and bringing change when it comes to gun violence.

“Protest in front of the court, police department, state attorney, city hall...as much as I can to be active and be positive,” said Abyazenjad. “Hopefully they hear my voice.”

GPD detectives charged 52-year-old Derek Hall with aggravated battery in connection to Arash’s death back in 2019.

Arash’s mom feels that Hall should be charged with her son’s murder.

She made both a petition and GoFundMe page to bring justice for her son.

Abyazenjad is leading the rally at 5:00 PM Saturday on the corner of University Avenue and 13th Street.

Meanwhile, Alachua County Mom’s Demand Action members are hosting another gun violence event Friday night to light the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center’s entrance in orange.

Attendees are also encouraged to wear orange.

City commissioner Desmon Duncan-Walker will read a proclamation declaring June 2nd as “National Gun Violence Awareness Day.”

Click here to find Zahra Abyazenjad’s petition

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