Gun violence has Wichita mother demanding change

Crime

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita mom is fighting against gun violence after her son was shot and killed two years ago.

Liza Chavez is celebrating her son, Javier’s life with a candlelight vigil on Tuesday (Feb. 25), the anniversary of his death.

Javier Chavez and his mother, Liza.
Courtesy: Liza Chavez

Javier Carbajal Chavez was shot and killed outside of a convenience store in 2018. While no one has been arrested for the murder, his mother is still fighting for justice.

“It’s not just when someone passes away,” said Chavez. “The pain continues throughout the years. My son was a good person with a big heart. I want people to know that and just show that we can all make a difference if we all come together.”

Coming together has been Chavez’s mission. After losing two of her sons, Chavez created a Mother’s Against Gun Violence group. They have traveled to Topeka to promote change in gun laws and have been recognized by Governor Laura Kelly for their efforts.

Governor Laura Kelly speaks to members of Moms Demand Action, mentioning Liza Chavez’s efforts.
Courtesy: Liza Chavez

“I will fight until I can’t fight no more,” said Chavez.

She hopes for stricter gun laws, making it harder for criminals to get their hands on weapons. Chavez said she is also pursuing legislation for stricter gun storage laws, to prevent weapons from getting in the hands of children and others.

But, it was an unlikely friendship that pushed this mother to keep going.

A few days after having surgery, her new friend, Carol Brewer felt sick and pulled over at a gas station.

A man with a tattoo on his face walked up to her and handed her a bottle of water. That man was Javier.

“He sat outside of my car,” said Brewer. “Just kind of leaned against the car and just waited until I was ready to go; until I was okay.”

Just a short time later, Javier was gunned down in the same parking lot.

Brewer knows the feeling of loss all too well. Her three-year-old nephew, Evan Brewer was murdered in 2017.

Brewer said she will cherish her memory with Javier and is also working to raise awareness for violence in the community.

“Whatever was going on with him years and months before, that was not who he is,” said Brewer. “He showed me that he had respect, he had love, and he loved others.”

Javier’s loved ones are raising money to buy a headstone for his grave.

To find out how you can help, click here.

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