NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — The Dasilva family — already devastated by the tragic loss of a loved one in the 2018 Waffle House mass shooting — now finds themselves victims of gun violence once more.
Abede Dasilva, who witnessed his brother Akilah’s death at the hands of a gunman, was recently shot in the head, leaving his family reeling from the unimaginable pain of another senseless act of violence.
Shaundelle Brooks, their mother, knows the pain of losing a child. She didn’t want to lose another one, expressing her deep sorrow and frustration.
“Drained, frustrated, disbelief. Gosh, it’s hard to find the words to describe what’s going on in my head and in my heart, and I definitely know it’s painful,” said Brooks, struggling to articulate her emotions.
Both of Brooks’ sons were present at the restaurant on the day of the shooting, and Abede, in a heart-wrenching moment, held his brother until his final breath.
Now, gun violence has once again pierced this grieving family’s life.
“It’s a mom, a parent. It’s your worst nightmare. And then for it to happen a second time?” Brooks said.
Abede, a performer, was delivering a heartfelt performance at the Hunnii Pot Bar and Lounge on Murfreesboro Pike when gunshots erupted across the street. He was struck in the head.
Thankfully, Abede is recovering at home.
Since 2018, his family has been at the forefront of the battle against gun violence, tirelessly advocating for change. And after Abede experienced violence for a second, the family has now plans of stopping their efforts.
“It took me back physically, mentally, and emotionally. It took me to the hospital where he was when he passed. The ER I haven’t been there in five years,” Brooks shared.
Initially hesitant to speak about this tragedy, she recognized the importance of sharing her son’s story, hoping to raise awareness about the harrowing reality faced by countless families.
“I want people to know that this can happen. It can happen to you. I never thought it would happen to me a second time. I didn’t think it was going to happen the first time,” Brooks said.
She continues to ask lawmakers to take meaningful action to prevent further tragedies like this from devastating more families in the future.
As authorities investigate the shooting, no suspects have been identified, and no arrests have been made. To aid Abede in his recovery and cover the mounting medical expenses, the family has created a GoFundMe campaign.
Out of tragedy, Abede and Akilah DaSilva’s family is working to make the community a better place for others. After Akilah’s death, the family started the Akilah DaSilva Foundation, which works to prevent violence through education and awareness.
Last year, the group organized a walk. The money raised went toward scholarships for students impacted by gun violence.