Grandmother of Troy 16-year-old shooting victim calls for end to gun violence

TROY — Jaylin Gourrier-Lewis, 16, used to sit in one of the pews at United Ordained Church North Central. Now his death is spurring another call to action.

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"I believe that mothers need to reach out to their sons and speak to them about putting the guns down," said Jaylin’s grieving grandmother, Bettie Gourrier.

She remembers her grandson Jaylin as a loving kid, who loved life.

He was just 16 when he was shot and killed last week in Troy.

Rev. Charles Burkes of the United Ordained Church heard the news from a deacon.

"And when he showed me the picture, I began to cry," he said. "I almost fell off the pew because I was in disbelief. I know that young man used to visit this church and sit here, three pews back. Sometimes he would come with a friend. And sometime he would come alone."

"My boy looks like he’s asleep," said Gourrier. "He’s comfortable. I know he’s resting, so I’m at peace. I’m at peace. His mom couldn’t make it today because she’s torn. She’s torn completely."

Jaylin was the second 16-year-old to be killed in Troy in a month.

"It’s going to take more than just relying on government and law enforcement," said Renee Powell of the Troy NAACP. "We now have to dig deep, as the grandmother said. It’s up to the families now."

"It needs to begin at home with the parents showing their children some kind of love," said Rev. Burke.

There are even threats involving Jaylin’s funeral this week.

Gourrier says the violence has got to stop.

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"So I’m teaching my grandsons right now seeing this going on, please, we don’t want no retaliation," she said. "I don’t want retaliation, grandsons. I just want peace."