SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) She’s a mother turned activist after her 19-year old son, Anthony Mobley, lost his life to gun violence three years ago.
Now she has to bury another one of her children, Kelvin Stanford Jr., after he was gunned down less than a week ago.
16 News Now tells us how Loria Perez is dealing with the loss of her second son.
Perez spent the past three years sharing her story in hopes to end the cycle of gun violence in South Bend.
"2017, that's a call no mother wants to get. That's where it started at. So I lost my son 19-years old, Anthony Mobley to senseless gun violence.
I realized all these kids were there loving on me, calling me "Mama Bird". I wanted to utilize that. You can't call me mama if it don't come with respect.
I formed 'Bullets 4 Life' out here. It originated in Florida. That's our main chapter, but we birthed it out here. These kids birthed it. I'm not going to say it's just kids--everybody is like that. They start donating bullets and that was just last year in July. Here we are today and it hasn't even been a year and we've collected 2,500 bullets and these kids are a part of that.
Kelvin took it to another level. He was like, 'I got my mama out here doing this, I'm going to bring some friends in.' He started bringing friends in, and they start advocating. That's when we said, 'We're going to sit back and let them talk.'
With Kelvin being gone, I didn't want to believe it was him, but you know--I've been to some crime scenes. I'd been to some vigils. I know what that tape means. It was at that moment that I picked my head up, I placed my foot solid on the ground and said, I have to get these kids from around here.
I have lost three children. Am I numb to this? No. Am I dumb to this. No. But what I can't do is let grief hold me back from something that can be taken care of. I have to do it for my son. This is what he did. I have to focus on these kids. I want them to realize if nobody is there for them, Mama Bird is there for them," Perez said.
Tuesday night, family and friends gathered to celebrate Kelvin's life and support Perez in her mission to end gun violence.
Their shirts read "boots on the ground" to symbolize their next step, putting their foot down to create real lasting change.