Girl's 2008 death brings renewed push in Albany to end gun violence

June 04, 2018 05:45 PM

ALBANY - It's a call to end gun violence in the city of Albany, 10 years in the making.

Kathina Thomas, 10, was killed when she was caught in gunfire while playing outside her home on 1st Street back in 2008. A 15-year-old boy had pulled the trigger. At the time, it was a rallying cry to stop the violence.

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The Albany City Council was planning to honor Kathina on Monday evening.

Some Albany City Council members want to mark June 2 in the city "Gun Violence Awareness Day" and June "Gun Violence Awareness Month."

Kathina's brother, George Yhap, was planning to speak at Monday's rally and says this is just the start when it comes to making a difference in the city when it comes to gun violence.

Yhap says when Kathina was shot back in 2008, he felt like a victim and he was angry at the person who shot his sister as she was just riding her bike down the street.

Police say the person who shot her was aiming at someone else.

Yhap says 10 years later, it's now about helping out in the city and trying to get youth away from guns.

The person who shot Kathina was just 15 years old. Yhap says he's no longer angry at the person and he says marking June "Gun Violence Awareness Month" and June 2 "Gun Violence Awareness Day" will make people think about the issue and that know senseless gun violence and tragedies like what happened to his little sister could happen to anyone's family member.

Now, Yhap is also working on starting a program in honor of his sister called "Reach One Teach One." It would aim to get youth off the streets. He says he knows gun violence is still going on right here in Albany.

Yhap says he's hoping to bring that "Reach One Teach One" program to Hackett Middle School then to Albany High School.

NewsChannel 13 will take you to Monday night's Albany City Council meeting on, our 10 p.m. show on My 4 and NewsChannel 13 Live at 11.


WNYT Staff

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