Huffpost OWN

How A Petty Spat Robbed This Mother Of Her Only Son (VIDEO)

Posted: Updated:

John's bedroom in North Philadelphia looks like the typical bedroom of an 18-year-old boy. Trophies line the shelves, jerseys are pinned to the walls. His mother, Stephanie, tried everything she could to shelter him from the drugs and violence in their neighborhood. Her efforts seemed to be working -- John graduated from high school and was studying engineering at a local college.

Despite Stephanie’s best efforts, John got into a petty spat with a local clique. It quickly turned deadly and John was gunned down in cold blood, just blocks from their home. John's 16-year-old killer, now in jail, created a You Tube video bragging about the murder.

On an episode of "Our America" exploring the widespread danger of gun violence in America, Lisa Ling met with Stephanie at her home to hear her story.

Stephanie takes Ling to John's room, where she often goes to pray. It's been six years since she lost her only child, and it hasn't gotten any easier.

After John was killed, Stephanie explains his death ignited a series of retributions in the neighborhood.

"It was a retaliation from this side to that side," Stephanie says. "From all that, six murders happened. We lost six men."

"All of us without a son, some kids without a father," she says, shaking her head. "Retaliation."

Ling asks Stephanie how many mothers she knows who have lost their children to violence in Philadelphia.

"Personally, friends, about 30," Stephanie says.

"You know 30 women who have lost kids?" Ling repeats in disbelief.

"Yes," Stephanie nods.

"Our America with Lisa Ling" airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on OWN.

Like Us On Facebook |
Follow Us On Twitter

Also on HuffPost:

Close
States With The Most Gun Violence: 24/7 Wall St.
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Lisa Ling | Facebook

OUR AMERICA WITH LISA LING - Oprah.com

Battling Philly's Rampant Gun Violence - Oprah.com

Thursday night: Lisa Ling and Our America look at activists fighting gun ...

Filed by Lynn Okura
 

Stay Connected

FOLLOW US
  • Download The Huffington Post
  • Get Huffington Post for Android
    Enter your mobile number to get the link!
    Message and data rates may apply. By clicking 'Send,' you represent that you are the account holder for the number you provided (or have the account holder's permission to receive a text message) and agree that the AOL Terms and Privacy Policy apply.
  • Get Huffington Post for Blackberry
    Enter your mobile number to get the link!
    Message and data rates may apply. By clicking 'Send,' you represent that you are the account holder for the number you provided (or have the account holder's permission to receive a text message) and agree that the AOL Terms and Privacy Policy apply.
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
    HuffPost OWN
    Thousands of Followers & Thousands of Listed
  • Apple
    Download The Huffington Post
  • Android
    Get Huffington Post for Android
    Enter your mobile number to get the link!
    Message and data rates may apply. By clicking 'Send,' you represent that you are the account holder for the number you provided (or have the account holder's permission to receive a text message) and agree that the AOL Terms and Privacy Policy apply.
  • Blackberry
    Get Huffington Post for Blackberry
    Enter your mobile number to get the link!
    Message and data rates may apply. By clicking 'Send,' you represent that you are the account holder for the number you provided (or have the account holder's permission to receive a text message) and agree that the AOL Terms and Privacy Policy apply.
  • Email
  • Rss
Rob Bell's Course
Subscribe to Oprah on Facebook
Oprah's Book Club Get the latest news on Oprah's new book club. Sign up today >