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10-year-old cold case spurs calls to end violence plaguing the region

Posted: 11:14 PM, Jul 15, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-16 03:14:07Z

"We miss him. There’s not a day that don’t go by that I don't think about him," Daphne Alston said. 

Her son, 22-year-old Tariq Alston, was shot and killed during a party at the Joppa-Magnolia firehouse in Harford County 10 years ago. 

"It was really tough because I questioned myself like how did I let my brother down?," Tariq's older brother Malik said. 

Every year since his murder, Daphne has gotten the community together for a memorial cookout in Turner Station, where Tariq grew up.

"This should be a wedding party for Tariq or a graduation party, not memorializing his death," Daphne said.

They are keeping his memory alive, hoping still for a breakthrough in the case. Police haven't made an arrest.          

"That’s probably the hardest thing that I deal with every day," Malik said. "There’s no justice in my brother’s crime so I gotta wake up knowing that his killer, I may have shook hands everyday with his killer and I not know."

While they are looking for justice, they are also looking for change: a stop to the all the violence. 

"It’s taken over my wellbeing. Every day I listen to it on the news and I’m like, 'Oh God, that’s gonna be another mom, another dad, another family that’s gonna have to go through this," Daphne said. 

They are targeting youth, setting a positive example and intervening at a young age to change hte culture they grow up in.

"It’s hard for one person to stop the problem but it’s like a snowball effect; if you get into enough peoples' heads and then they pass it on," Malik said. 

Terry Williams was one of the many friends, family and community activists at the memorial Sunday. He lost his son to gun violence a few years ago, so he started Challenge 2 Change to help reach young kids.

"We believe that change can come out of our challenge. I don’t care how horrific they are, we believe that change is possible," Williams said.

They are all using their pain as motivation; showing the impact one action can have on an entire community, hoping it makes at least one person think twice before picking up a weapon. 

"This pain just goes on and on and on and it has to stop. Killing a person, the person is dead and gone but you left his family, his children, his aunts. You left those people out there," Daphne said. 

The Harford County Sheriff's Office is still hoping for anyone who has information about this case to come forward. Detectives say someone intended to shoot Tariq and investigations have a direction on the shooter, but enough to make an arrest.