Father holds 2nd annual event in honor of murdered son, hopes to strengthen community ties

In the fight against violence in central Arkansas, one father is leading by example with the 2nd Annual Tank Day.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- In the fight against violence in central Arkansas, one father is leading by example by holding the 2nd annual “Tank Day.”

It's in remembrance of his son who was murdered in 2015. The community is determined to redirect their young men and women.

“It’s about showing love and remembering Tank and who he was,” said Alvin Crawford, Tank’s father and founder of The Aaron Crawford Antiviolence Organization.

The group hopes to strengthen community ties and bring awareness to what a lot of people call senseless violence.

“Growing up, everybody loved him,” said Crawford.

“Tank” was Aaron’s nick name. This annual event celebrates his life, while also honoring those with similar stories.

“He was giving a guy a ride and the guy robbed him in North Little Rock at the U.S. Bank on July 9, 2015,” Crawford said.

He remembers his son, Tank, as a fun and loving kid. Crawford is committed to keeping Tank’s memory alive and hopes to save lives in the process.

“When things like this happen, it lets you know his death wasn't in vain. People love him and they're showing love by coming out. We also have people out here that have lost loved ones too, its bringing us all together,” he said looking around at a packed park.

Members of the community are concerned about those who seem to be walking down the wrong path.

“To all the young men out there, it's not worth it. Don’t have your mother crying, worried about whether you're coming home or not,” said Lakesia Smith. She also lost her son to gun violence.

“This is my baby, Shoncoven Smith. He was killed three years ago on January 25, 2014. He was shot five times by someone he knew,” she said.

She thinks the number of incidents the city has had in only seven months is alarming, and the age of the people responsible even more concerning.

“Our age group is from 14-21 who's doing all the killing. It's not the older men anymore, it's our youth. Our future and our first generations are killing everybody, it's not good,” said Smith.

Crawford told THV11 although his son is no longer here physically, he still lives on.

Tank donated his organs and a woman received his heart through a transplant two years ago.

The trial of the man accused of carjacking Tank is scheduled to resume later this month. Xavier Pree is charged with capital murder.

Also, later this month on July 29, there will be a candlelight vigil for Shoncoven Smith at 32nd and Elm. Smith welcomes the entire community to attend. 

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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