Shooting victim’s mother: Son blessed to be alive

In the wake of a double shooting that left one man dead and another injured, the injured victim’s mother is speaking out and begging for an end to the gun violence plaguing Tuscaloosa.

Tasha Starkey is the mother of Orlando Blackmon, who was shot alongside 26-year-old Lamont LaKeith Cameron. Cameron died soon after the shooting. Blackmon and Cameron are half-brothers on their father’s side.

Blackmon’s mother says her son is doing well and recovering after being shot.

“Orlando is blessed,” Starkey said. “He’s resting. He’s at peace and he’s humble. I’m a praying mama.”

Starkey said it’s a miracle no one else was hurt.

“He was an innocent bystander,” Starkey said. “Not only were he and his brother Lamont in his car, but both of Orlando’s kids were in the backseat. I cannot thank God enough for shielding my grandkids, shielding my son.”

This shooting is a tragedy, Starkey said.

“They need to put the guns down and need to learn how to talk about the situation instead of always picking up a gun,” she said.

Tuscaloosa City Council Member Matthew Wilson, who was at the scene of the shooting Monday night, agrees.

“I’m tired of seeing young Black men killed by the hands of guns,” Wilson said just after the shooting.

While the incident didn’t happen in his district, Wilson said he was there to comfort members of his church and anyone else in need of consoling.

“Gun violence has become too regular in our community,” Wilson said. “It’s too common.”

Wilson said he’s pleading with parents and the community to put down their guns.

“So our children can have a future, so parents don’t have to bury their children at an early age, so these children might live to become responsible adults in our community,” Wilson said.

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