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'That's the real tragedy': 4 homicide victims share connection to Macon after-school program

Kymelo Early, Ormondo Cortez Clark, Braxton Cole, and Roderick Felton were all part of Street to Success, a program that strives to steer kids away from violence.

MACON, Ga. — Four of Macon's most recent homicide victims all shared a connection not too far from where they were killed. 

Street to Success on Houston Avenue is a program that people in the community see as a "safe place" for kids who grow up in south Macon.

The goal is to steer kids away from violence, but now, four former students have been killed in the last month. Two were killed Monday night. 

"It was like, 'Ah, another one. Lord help us. help us,'" said Ray Rover, who runs Street to Success.

Rover says he'll have to bury four of his boys--all killed by gun violence. 

Each of them at one point played at this gym and were part of this program that's trying to put an end to violence.

"I loved them. I fed them. I gave them everything we had. We did reading. We did math. It's what Street to Success is all about," Rover said. 

He's run the program for the last 17 years. 

Rover says in that time, he's lost 16 kids to gun violence. 

"And three became murderers -- one involuntary and two by malice. That's the real tragedy -- when one of my young men turn to violence and kills another one," Rover said. 

The most recent four killed include 16-year-old Kymelo Early who was gunned down outside Friends' Food Mart on Houston Avenue on May 9. 

28-year-old Ormondo Cortez Clark shot on Ibex Street on May 16. 

Then Monday night, 19-year-old Braxton Cole and 21-year-old Roderick Felton both fatally shot at the same convenience center Kymelo Early was killed at in May. 

Bibb County Sheriff's Office says Cole and Felton were shooting at each other. 

"What we need to turn around is that they don't die in vain. That somebody can stop what they're doing...put away the guns... and start working on their school work improve their lives through their education," Rover said. 

Rover added they have to keep the program's mission running in south Macon by creating a different mindset-- a desire to learn and build their future.

He says it's important to teach kids who grow up in the high-crime areas of south Macon that there is an escape like going to college, getting into the military, and getting a good job. 

If you'd like to to help Street to Success, you can volunteer, or you can donate online on their website

     

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