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‘I’m just so sick of losing loved ones this way’: Lexington grandmother shares her loss to gun violence

Published: Dec. 29, 2020 at 8:56 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - There have been 34 homicides in Lexington in 2020, and 12 of those killed have been people under the age of 20.

“I’m just so sick of losing loved ones this way. We didn’t birth our kids to be taken away from us like this,” said Andre Washington, the grandmother of Mykel Waide.

A Tates Creek High School basketball player with a bright future, 18-year-old Mykel Waide was shot and killed in August just days before he was set to start college at the University of Louisville.

“His sister watched him take his last breath,” Washington said.

His absence is especially felt by the whole family, as they spent their first Christmas without Mykel.

“I think about him all the time. Believe me I do. Christmas Eve was really hard. I just cried all day because this was one of the times you’d see Mykel going from room to room,” Washington said.

Washington is a biological grandmother to 19 children. But she’s known as ‘Nana’ to dozens more.

“The young man that got killed yesterday has two kids under the age of one that will never know their daddy. You know, it’s just generations killing off generations,” Washington said.

20-year-old Ja’quis Ray spent many days at ‘Nana’s’ home. He was shot and killed Monday in his car in the Woodhill Center parking lot. Another ‘grandchild’ Washington has to bury.

“Like I said, whatever I can do to help get this off the street, names, addresses, anything I find out, Nana’s telling,” Washington said.

Washington says if she can just reach one person, help save one life, she’ll know her job’s been done.

“It has to stop. I don’t care who knows because I’m fighting for all of our men out here losing their lives for no reason,” Washington said.

Washington says anyone can reach out to her on Facebook, and she’ll do anything she can to help someone get out of a bad situation. She also encourages parents who may need help, to reach out to her. She says the Lexington community has to work together to stop the gun violence among young people.

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