GREENSBORO, N.C. — After two cousins in Greensboro died from gunshots during a Labor Day home invasion, their family doesn't want their deaths to be in vain. On Saturday, they held a march to end all forms of violence and a fundraiser to cover funeral costs plus medical bills for two other family members injured in the home invasion.
Christopher Parson, 24, and Kendrick Gilbert Jr., 24 were shot by an intruder on Sept. 2 just after 2 a.m. in the 5500 block of West Market Street, according to the Greensboro Police Department.
Parson's wife and 1-month-old baby girl were also injured by gunshots during the home invasion. The wife is still recovering in the intensive care unit, and the baby is doing better after getting hit by a bullet in her thumb, according to family members on Saturday.
Ronand Glenn, spokesperson for the Greensboro Police Department, told WFMY News 2 on Saturday there are no new updates on the case and the investigation is ongoing.
"This needs to be addressed. We have a lot of senseless violence going on in Greensboro, and it's not only for (my son and nephew), but for other victims too, people who have suffered losses," said Kendrick Gilbert Sr., whose son died.
Beginning 6:30 p.m. Saturday, the family led a march on West Gate City Boulevard in Greensboro, chanting "We want justice, we want peace. No more violence in our streets."
According to family members, the goal of the rally was to push for an end to violence, including from guns, in Greensboro neighborhoods to honor the memory of the killed cousins.
"Put the guns down, stop advocating this violence, and advocate peace. There is a way for people to get along and solve problems. You don't have to pick up a gun to solve a problem. That's the least you want to do. For the person or people responsible, you will be brought to justice. Justice will be served one way or another," said Gilbert Sr.
The rally included family, friends, and community members of all ages. People held signs with phrases including, "Long Live Kanky and KG," "Gun's don't die, people do!!!" and "Stop the gun violence."
The marchers walked from the Salvation Army on West Gate City Boulevard to one family's home about a mile away.
"I wouldn't want this on anybody's parents to bury their child. And second of all, just all the violence and stuff going on in Greensboro, it's just senseless right now," said Katrina Cole, the mother of Kendrick Gilbert Jr.
"Each parent is losing a child, because once the person gets caught, they go to jail for life, and we already lost our child to death," said Cole. "It shouldn't be like that."
Before the march, family and friends held a fundraiser fish fry and car wash in Greensboro on Saturday in the parking lot of 309 Gate City Blvd. Proceeds are going to pay for the cousins' funerals and medical bills for the wife and baby's treatment, all of which have totaled to about $60-70,000, according to Gilbert Sr.
Money will also help the family raise two young children left behind by the cousins' death.
"I guess I'm still in shock, because I don't understand how somebody could hurt them. They had so many friends and influenced so many classmates to finish school, to not sell drugs, to get a job, to go to college," said Lisa Wallace, a family member of the killed men. "It's a shame these little children have to grow up without their dads. It's a shame."
Dozens of people attended the fish fry and car wash, which lasted from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
"This was two senseless murders. These were two hard-working young men and pillars of the community, basically. They didn't deserve to die, they weren't doing anything wrong. For them to just up and be killed like that, it's a tragedy," said Gilbert Sr.
Gilbert Sr. said he was born and raised in Greensboro, and he's seen gun violence rise in the city over his life.
"I've watched (violence) increase. It's increased a whole lot. It's not like it used to be, when I was coming up, you fought with your fists. you didn't pick up a gun," said Gilbert Sr.