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Family members of 8-year-old shooting victim ask for the violence to end

Posted at 4:21 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 19:19:22-05

NEW IBERIA — Funeral arrangements are still being made for 8-year-old Jamal Robinson, who was shot during a drive-by shooting last week in Iberia Parish. Police say Jonas Hawk opened fire while Jamal and his family were outside playing. Hawk is charged with one count of first degree murder and 14 counts of attempted first degree murder. It was the child's uncle who was the intended target.

Now, Jamal's family is speaking out against the devastating effects of gun violence.

"Devastating, it was devastating," Natasha Edwards-Boutte said.

Boutte says her 8-year-old cousin Jamal was the only person shot that day. Jamal died just three days later.

"Children are supposed to grow up and do the things we didn't get to do. Here we are carrying our children to rest, we're putting them in the ground, we're going to jail visits. We need to find some way to control this because innocent bystanders are being affected and killed, when we shouldn't be involved," Edwards-Boutte said.

She believes ending this kind of violence starts at home. She says parents have to look closer at their children, what they are doing, and who they are doing it with.

"If they see their child going astray, talk to them. Before they either get killed, or end up in jail. If you don't stop them, this is what happens," Edwards-Boutte said.