LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – One-hundred people have been shot in Lexington so far this year, while 36 people have been shot and killed so far this year, that’s one less than the city’s homicide record in 2021.

Now three mothers are working to create change after losing their sons to gun violence in the city. FOX 56’s Emani Payne sat down with them to discuss the rise in violence.

“It’s kind of like you hate to go to sleep because you know when you wake up it’s going to be a shooting or a death and it’s just retraumatizing to us,” said Tonya Lindsey, Sisters and Supporters Working Against Gun Violence.

Alisa Hairston’s only son Berkley was shot and killed last year.

Lexington’s rise in violent crime:

“They killed me when they killed my son. They took a part of me and I’m trying to get reintroduced to myself because I’m not the same person and I’m never going to be. You see all of these organizations and commercials talking about it takes a village, well I have yet to see that village,” said Hairston.

Both of Andrea Crocker’s sons Johntel and Damycal were killed in separate shootings.

“The guy who killed one of my sons, he served his time, he’s been released and I see him on occasion. So that just brings back the memories and hatred because you’re walking around free, happy and living a good life and my son is gone,” said Crocker.

Lindsey’s 16-year-old son Ezavion was shot and killed by his half-brother.

“He was perfect to me and he definitely didn’t deserve what happened to him by no means. Every year we’re breaking a homicide record. What we’re doing currently is not working,” said Lindsey.

Lindsey going on to create a network for others mourning too. It’s called SWAG or Sisters and Supporters Working Against Gun Violence. The online community alone has more than 800 members.

“These ladies and other ladies, we support each other and we have an understanding without words. Without them I don’t know if I would’ve been able to stand and be as strong as I am without the support of others like me that go through the same thing,” said Lindsey.

To say the women are upset about the rise in violence in Lexington would be an understatement.

“I just feel the system is not designed to help our children. I think they know about some of these kids that have priors and they give them a slap on the wrist and let them out and once they let them out they go murder other peoples children. I feel if we could change some of the laws downtown and get some new judges downtown that really care about our children, I think we would move forward,” said Hairston.

The women say there’s never really true closure or justice after a loved ones been shot and killed. Lindsey says her sons killer was probated, Hairston says the case for her sons killer is still going on and as Crocker mentioned she sees one of her sons killers around town on occasion.


They said a change starts at home with involved parents raising children right, but said everyone from families, to community and city leaders, need to take on a more active role.

“Whether you’re on our side or the opposite side everybody’s got to take accountability for what they’re not doing, and until everybody takes their accountability for what’s not being done we’re going to continue to have gun violence,” said Lindsey.

For more information about SWAG or Sisters and Supporters Working Against Gun Violence visit SWAG- Sisters and Supporters Working Against Gun Violence on Facebook

The group is also participating in an event Sunday called Prayer in the Streets. The event is open to the public and will take place from 5-6 p.m. on Bright Avenue.