Lost to the Streets

Deacon Tyrone Booker Sr. holds the obituary of his son, Tyrone Booker Jr., who was murdered on March 27, 2016. “I was mad. I was furious. I asked, ‘God, why did you do this? Why did you let this happen?’ Then he gave me my answer: because your son was in involved in the wrong things, so I had to get him out of it,” Booker said. “You keep doing what you doing you will end up in someone’s grave site and now he’s in someone’s grave site.”

By Michael Blackshire

In cities like Chicago, Baltimore and Louisville, African-American men have become casualties of gun violence at an alarming rate. This portrait series tells the story of 12 of the hundreds of African-American males murdered in Louisville over the past three decades. All of them had families and many other loved ones who the left behind. In a family tree, when a branch falls, that tree is never the same again.

Phyllis Murphy lost her son for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Her son DeJuan Porter was murdered a few days prior to him catching a bus to take classes at Job Corps. The year DeJuan Porter was murdered, there were 42 homicides in Louisville. In 2017, there were 107 homicides in Louisville, according to the Louisville Metro Police Department.