FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - Dorothy Moore was home the day five police officers came to tell her that her son, Anton Javon Moore, had been killed.
The 30-year-old Fort Wayne man was found lifeless the morning of Oct. 19, his body lying in a ravine off the 6600 block of Fairfield Avenue.
Anton Moore was one of two people in the Moore family killed by gunfire in 2016, a year that claimed 48 lives, a homicide record in Allen County. Minutes after the discovery of his body, his girlfriend, Jaime Lynn Klein, also 30, was found stabbed to death in New Haven.
Ten weeks after her son’s death, Dorothy Moore is still in shock, her gestures those of someone wrestling a great pain. Calm comes for a second and then leaves her.
“I know I’m not the first one and I’m not going to be the last and it’s OK,” she said. “But just seeing my baby in that coffin. . Who does that?”
It’s a question she asked repeatedly during a recent interview at her south-side home. While she talks, she digs her hands deeper into the hands of two mainstays in her life.
Angela Martin, Anton’s half sister, and Chandra “Potta” Pinkston, an aunt, hold her fast between the two of them, steadying her as she rocks occasionally to one side. They are related to her through Anton’s father, Ernest Craig, who died in 2010.
Anton, Pinkston said, was the image of her brother, Ernest Craig, with the same friendly, warm and generous personality. Anton made some bad choices and had been incarcerated, although his aunt says his incarceration was not recent.
But he was kind to a fault. If anyone had wanted something from him, he would have given it to them, Dorothy Moore insists.
Her loss has affected her to the point that Moore said her doctor ordered her to stop working. For 21 years, she has been a certified nursing assistant, taking care of other people, as she said.
Now she is fighting depression and takes medication. She admits she is drinking alcohol again, something she started five years ago when she found her boyfriend dead of an overdose. She had been clean after going through rehab recently, she said.
“I want to be OK because, at the end of the day, regardless of how I feel, Anton is not coming back,” Moore said. “But let me grieve right now. I’m a mama and I loved my baby.”
It wouldn’t have been as bad if he’d died of natural causes, Moore said.
“I would have felt bad, but not this bad,” Moore said. “Nobody had a reason to just . kill him.”
Moore said she visits therapists and psychiatrists three times a week, but otherwise, she rarely leaves the home she’s owned for 11 years.
What she is going through isn’t unusual.
“Gradually, inch by inch, you will find strength,” said Angela Presley, who founded Alonna’s Song, a Facebook support group for mothers whose children have died. Presley lost her daughter, Alonna Allison, 17, in August 2015 when a stray bullet struck her at a bonfire party on Schaper Drive.
“Be surrounded by loved ones,” Presley counseled in answer to a Journal Gazette inquiry. “I was lucky. I didn’t move for three months. My mom took care of me.”
The morning Moore’s son was found, another gruesome discovery was made in New Haven. His girlfriend, Klein, had been stabbed multiple (Moore says it was 62) times at her home on Hartzell Road.
Klein’s 5-year-old daughter was there when her mother was killed, Moore said. As bad as she feels about her own loss, she said she feels even worse for that little girl.
Her son wasn’t Moore’s only loss in 2016. Not even a month before Anton’s death, her brother, Robert “Bobby” Moore, 55, was shot dead. He was killed Sept. 20 around 11 p.m. as he stood on his sister’s porch on Avondale Drive with his brother, Charles, and Charles’ girlfriend.
Kahmarri Spencer, 18, and Trevon Sullivan, 21, charged with his murder on Dec. 20 in Allen Superior Court, told police his death was an accident - they were seeking a rival gang member. No arrests have been made in connection with Anton Moore’s or Jaime Lynn Klein’s deaths.
Charles Moore, who is close to his sister, Dorothy, said he was still hurting for his brother, Bobby, when he stood to speak at Anton’s funeral.
“Something has to stop,” Charles told the mourners who packed Kingdom Door Christian Worship Center on East Pontiac Street.
“This has got to stop. Is there something in the water? Something in the air? It ain’t been 25 days since I buried my brother.”
Since then, Charles said he’s taking it badly. He’s willing to talk about it; other relatives won’t, he said.
A call to Gloria Winston, Bobby and Charles’ sister, was promptly disconnected, although just after the murder charges were announced she told The Journal Gazette the family wanted justice.
Dorothy Moore, 54, said the rift that existed between her mother and other relatives has become greater because of the killings.
“I want it reconciled,” she said during an interview that took place a few days before Christmas as she clutched the hands of Martin and Pinkston.
But no one thinks it will.
“I know at the end of day I’m going to be OK ‘cause I still have kids who love me,” said Moore, who has two sons living at home and two who have their own place. “I gotta shake it off because liquor ain’t nothing.
“But who does this?”
Source: The (Fort Wayne) Journal Gazette, https://bit.ly/2hLeZ0Z
Information from: The Journal Gazette, https://www.journalgazette.net
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