Just a week after an anti-gun mural was created by the parents of a victim in the Parkland, FL school shooting, it was reduced to dust.
The mural outside of a church on Maple Street was one of 17 around the country and is the only one to have been destroyed.
One week ago today, the parents of Joaquin Oliver turned their pain into a mural to raise awareness about gun violence.
Their 17 year old son was killed in the Parkland, FL shooting.
Today, this is what’s left.
"It was utterly destroyed. It looked like someone had ripped it apart, kicked it in, tore it down," said Amaad Rivera.
This is one of 17 flowers, each to represent the victims of that shooting, now scattered on the front steps of this Maple Street church.
"We had to throw the pieces away because we tried to put them together, but it was impossible," Rivera explained.
The mural was one of 17 created by the Olivers, who today are traveling to Houston to create another piece.
Rivera told Western Mass News that their group had planned to auction the mural off to raise money for their cause.
"We no longer have that option," Rivera noted.
Rivera told us he had filed a report with police and said that while it is disheartening to know the Springfield mural is the only one to be vandalized they will not let this slow their activism.
"We don't know why we don't know who did it, but I am also feeling determined because if the Olivers can turn their action into tragedy, we can turn this vandalism into a passionate energy," Rivera said.
Now, Rivera and other organizers are asking people to share the photos of the completed mural so their message can go on.
"We want it to go viral. You can't stop an idea whose time has come and right now, the time is to stop mass shooting and reduce gun violence," Rivera said.
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