Family of unsolved drive-by shooting victim proposing new law to address gun violence

Dozens at Forest Park in Springfield gathered Monday afternoon to honor a young victim of gun violence.
Published: Jun. 26, 2023 at 5:09 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 26, 2023 at 10:19 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Family and friends gathered at Forest Park Monday to remember a young life lost too soon and to call for change after a loved one was killed in an act of gun violence in Springfield three years ago.

Tangela Clark lost her daughter, Tamara, to gun violence. Now, three years later, she continues to fight for justice for her daughter and to create change both here in Springfield and statewide.

Tangela said that she heard the gunshots that killed Tamara from her Springfield home, a painful memory she still struggles with now three years later. The 37 year old was killed in a drive-by shooting on June 26th, 2020, and her murder remains unsolved.

On Monday, exactly three years after Tamara’s death, her family and friends gathered at Forest Park to remember their loved one.

Tangela told Western Mass News that this event is one she hopes will honor her daughter’s fun-loving personality.

Dozens at Forest Park in Springfield gathered Monday afternoon to honor a young victim of gun violence.

“Just a fun person all around, she had a great personality,” said Tangela. “Anybody that knew her loved her, that’s why there’s a lot of people here. A lot of people loved her. They took something great out of our family.”

Tangela said that even after years have gone by, she continues to struggle with the loss of her beloved daughter

“It’s been a struggle since the day she’s been murdered, it’s been a struggle,” she told us. “The safety in my neighborhood is gone completely. I don’t trust anyone anymore. I have PTSD from this. It has affected my whole life.”

Since her daughter’s death, Tangela has been involved in the Darrell Lee Jenkins Resource Center, which provides services for those who have lost a loved one to homicide. We spoke with the founder and mother of the organization’s namesake, Juanita Batchelor.

“We offer support groups, sobriety-wide grieving, advocacy, outreach,” she told us. “Just to have a comfortable place to come, where people know and understand exactly where they’re coming from, is the most impactful thing for us. Just being able to console someone in their dire time.”

To prevent other mothers from a similar heartache, Tangela is calling on local lawmakers for change.

“In order for the police to do their job, we need laws in place to help them. I think it is about time for people to start listening to me and other mothers,” she said. “My daughter was murdered in a drive-by shooting. No was arrested, no one was even questioned in this murder, and I think it’s even worse because no one is saying nothing. No one is doing nothing.”

That ‘something’ that must be done, she said, is similar to a drive-by shooter law similar to the one in California. The law would hold all parties responsible in these shootings, including the person who rented the car, no matter their involvement.

“I think the citizens of Massachusetts state will vote ‘yes’ on a drive-by shooter law if I had someone to write it up and put it on the books, just so we can vote,” said Tangela. “Let us vote, let us choose if we want that vote. I think my daughter getting murdered in a drive-by shooting is a great start because there were two other women who were shot and killed after her.”

No one has been arrested in connection with the shooting that killed Tamara, and her murder remains unsolved.

For more information on the resources offered by the Darrell Lee Jenkins Resource Center, you can head to their website.