Mother of slain daughter ‘not surprised’ by inaction at Virginia special session

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Turning pain into progress

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Tuesday’s special session at the capitol wrapped up in less than two hours.

A family who was in attendance was hoping for change. They said they were not surprised the session was moved until after the election.

Republicans ended it and voted to meet again in November after the election. A republican leader told 8News on Tuesday that the move to November is to give the Virginia State Crime Commission more time to review the bills.

RELATED: The latest: Virginia Senate adjourns special session until November 18

Kristy Burrus-Clay is a Chesterfield mother who lost her daughter after she was shot at a stop light in Richmond almost a year ago.

“So many why’s and we’re left with leaning on our faith because we will never know the answers to those questions,” Burrus-Clay said.

Her daughter Krissia Henderson-Burrus was shot at a stop light on Hull Street before crashing her car in a McDonald’s parking lot. She died a few hours later.

RELATED: Woman found shot in crashed car at McDonald’s dies at hospital

Krissia’s homicide is still under investigation.

“We’re still struggling,” Burrus-Clay said. ” We’re still struggling.” 

As she grieves, Kristy said she is turning her pain into advocating for change.

“There needs to be a little bit more control around background checks around gun ownership or possession,” Burrus-Clay said.

RELATED: After tragic loss of daughter, Chesterfield mother fights to end gun violence

Kristy said she spent Tuesday morning hoping and praying for a vote on three of the bills. Instead, she will have to wait until November 18.

“Once I got over the emotional sorrow, that our lives don’t matter, I realized our work is not done,” Burrus-Clay said.  

Kristy said the second amendment is not the problem but a community ignoring violence is.

RELATED: Father of 9-year-old Markiya Dickson applauds Northam’s call for gun control

“We will continue to have community events just to create awareness that safety is paramount,” Burrus-Clay said. “And it’s not solely on the shoulders of our lawmakers.”

Burrus-Clay is also working with schools, parents and state senators. She developing a course for children starting in kindergarten.

RELATED: ‘I give her life’: Mother works to ensure slain daughter’s journey continues

“We need to enforce the importance of directing our child appropriately in the home.” 

There are two community events coming up for families both focusing on ending violence in the area.

  • July 13: St. Paul Baptist Church on Hull Street at 12 p.m.
  • July 20: Petersburg Stop the Violence Cookout on 550 Farmer Street from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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