NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – A mother who lost two children to gun violence in New Haven is speaking out and pleading for unity and change following the fourth shooting death in the Elm City this year.

The first homicide victim of the year, Dontae Myers, was the last son Laquiva Jones had. She says she could sit in her house mourning her children and fall apart, but says that changes nothing and leaves another mother in her shoes. So, she’s speaking out and challenging the community to step up.

“I just felt devastated,” Jones said. “That was the only son I had left.”

Jones lost her son Dashown Myers in 2020 after a shooting on Quinnipiac Avenue. He was the first homicide victim of the year and was just 18 years old. Less than three years later, her other son, Dontae, was the first homicide victim of 2023. The brothers are described as best friends who were inseparable.

“Impacted [Dontae] tremendously,” Jones said. “Like you could see the light in his eyes went out. After Dashown got killed, I just felt like this wasn’t home anymore, thinking I could save Dontae.”

Jones left her life-long home of New Haven and moved out of the city to try and protect Dontae. On the day of the 23-year-old’s funeral, Jones was speaking out at city events trying to change the troubling trend in New Haven of four homicides in less than three weeks.

“There’s going to be a fifth, a sixth, and it’s sad, but it’s going to continue because no one is holding themselves accountable,” Jones said. “People had time to pull out their phones but didn’t have time to tell the cops what happened. People like to say the police, the mayor, New Haven aren’t doing their jobs, well we aren’t doing ours either.”

Jones said the impact reaches beyond those who have died, shattering families, friends and communities. Dontae had three kids.

“And his thing is, I don’t want him to be with [Dashown], I don’t want him to be with Jesus, I want him to be with me. How do you explain that to an 8-year-old,” Jones said. “Nothing, nobody can do for me to bring them back, but if I can help one person to get them off the streets or one person to say, ‘I’m not going to shoot,’ I’m ok.”

Although both shootings happened during the day, there have been no arrests. Jones says she worries there will never be justice, but she’s hoping for accountability.