Mother of teen slain in club shooting makes plea to end gang violence

hgoodridge@macon.comJuly 11, 2013 

The last conversation 12-year-old Jadarius Card remembers having with his uncle was about football.

They both liked the chances of the Atlanta Falcons this year.

“He was always laughing,” Card recalled about Jamonni Bland, 17.

He was also a good rapper.

“The best I ever heard,” Card said.

Bland was shot to death July 5 outside of the Zodiac Lounge in downtown Macon. Three others were injured in the shooting.

“I don’t think he had any beef with anybody,” said Card who then scrolled through pictures of Bland on his tablet computer.

Bland wore all blue in several of the photos -- blue hat, shirt and sneakers -- his hands signing the letter “c.”

The color and hand signal are widely known denoting Crips, a street gang.

The next morning after talking to his cousin, Card learned about Bland’s death after some TV reporters knocked on the door of his Jones Avenue home.

He lived across the street from Bland, who was the oldest of six children.

About 70 family members and friends gathered outside of the RiverView Hotel Thursday to hold a candlelight vigil for Bland, yards away from where he was shot.

Roland Stroud, of Bentley & Sons Funeral Home, led the group in prayer and then made a plea with the young people there to reject violence and gang activity.

“Me and this crew, we get you first,” Stroud said gesturing toward other members of the funeral home. “We’re tired of it.

“A majority of the things happening in our neighborhood, we’re doing it to ourselves like animals,” he said.

Jackie Sanders, Bland’s mother, agreed.

“When is it going to stop?” she said about the violence. “Gangs are in my neighborhood. I see it. Anybody can pick up a gun. It doesn’t take a man to pick up a gun.”

After saying a prayer, several of the children in the crowd released balloons in honor of Bland.

All of the balloons were blue.

Bland’s funeral service is 11 a.m. Saturday at C. J. Bentley Centreplex II on Shurling Drive with his burial following at Cherry Blossom Memorial Garden.

 

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