Community members gathered at the corner of 12th and Jefferson streets for a vigil honoring Kim Jones, 56, who was killed at the corner Tuesday morning. | JENNY KERRIGAN TTN
Wesley Hatton had known Kim Jones for around half a century.
“We’ve lived next door [to her] for 55 years,” Hatton said. “She played with my daughter and about that time she was six or seven. I knew the whole family – brothers and sisters … She was like family.”
Jones, 56, was shot once in the back of the head around 9:15 a.m. Tuesday while waiting for SEPTA’s No. 23 bus. She would have taken that bus to Turning Points For Children, a non-profit social service organization located in Center City.
Hatton was one of around 40 people in attendance at the vigil led by anti-youth-violence advocacy organization Philadelphia CeaseFire held in remembrance of Jones Friday at 4 p.m. A small memorial was being set up as people arrived at the site of the shooting at 12th and Jefferson streets.
Robert V. Warner, program manager of Philadelphia CeaseFire, said acts of violence like the incident on Tuesday affect communities greatly.
“Violence affects the security [of communities] tremendously,” Warner said. “Especially when a person like [Kim Jones] is killed, she could have sons or daughters. That could be my mother, or somebody else’s mother … so it hurts the community a lot.”
Throughout the vigil, several neighbors and family members took turns speaking into a megaphone provided by the organization. One of the speakers was Andre Jourden, Jones’ 33-year-old son who resides in Jacksonville, Florida.
“She loved this community and it’s a shame it had to happen like this,” Jones told the crowd. “But I know she’s being taken care of right now.”
As each speaker took his or her turn, people added stuffed animals and lit candles to the memorial. A poster was attached to the stop sign and spelled out PEACE as an acronym, with a detailed message for each letter. Near the bottom, it read “In loving memory of Mrs. Kim Jones and the many others that lost their life due to crime.”
Like Hatton, another neighbor, Tony Hall, had known Jones for around 50 years. Hall said he and Jones were close friends.
“Her nephew [Jeffrey Jones] is like my nephew,” he told The Temple News. “She was good with kids, always participated in community organizations … [and] she was on her way to work, to her job, where she helps children. That was her whole life.”
Jeffrey Jones said his aunt “always showed her sons and her family love.” Another member in attendance was Mary Bernard, who worked under Jones at Turning Points for Children. Bernard said Jones helped out several people in more than 10 years at the organization.
“Kim was a hard-working, dedicated, family-[oriented], church-going woman who would give up any service to anyone who was in need,” Bernard said. “She serviced over one thousand families … she serviced the needs of children and the needs of parents.”
The vigil wrapped up not long after 4:30 p.m.
Steve Bohnel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Steve_Bohnel. Lian Parsons can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Lian_Parsons.