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Remembering The Victims Of Gun Violence From One Year Ago

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Here's a sad reality of gun violence in America. On the day of a mass shooting like Parkland, dozens more people are killed elsewhere in the country, too. Valentine's Day 2018 was no different.

MARK BRYANT: Everything that was going to happen continued to happen.

KELLY: Mark Bryant runs the Gun Violence Archive, an independent, nonprofit data collection group. He and other researchers comb through police reports and local news every day trying to document every single instance of gun violence across the country.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

As the Parkland news broke, Bryant and one other researcher tracked developments at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The rest of the staff tallied the steady flow of shootings happening elsewhere. The final count - 143 shootings, 34 deaths - twice as many as were killed in Parkland.

BRYANT: Then February - 34, 35 is about an average day.

KELLY: So today, we wanted to share a few of their stories, too.

CORNISH: Braeden Anderson was shot accidentally by a friend outside of his house in Westlake, La. He loved sports and video games. He was 13.

KELLY: Tarek Mroue was delivering a washer and dryer in Boston when another driver slashed his tires and shot him in his pickup truck. Prosecutors described it as road rage. He was 37.

CORNISH: Chasity Cannady was killed at the Maybelline plant where she worked in North Little Rock, Ark. She was shot by a former co-worker. She was 19.

KELLY: Terry Coburn was shot while playing basketball with his nephews in Savannah, Ga. He was 29, and he had an 8-month-old son.

CORNISH: And then there was Ron Broadnax.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Good evening, everybody. How are you this evening? We're celebrating Ron's life tonight, aren't we?

(CHEERING)

CORNISH: Broadnax was a bouncer at Whiskey a Go Go, a rock club on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.

RYAN CASSIDY: He could obviously be the imposer if he needed to, but he was definitely more of the gentle giant - sort of a staple here, if you will.

KELLY: Ryan Cassidy helps promote bands at the club. On Valentine's Day, Cassidy was there when the news came in Ron was shot to death outside his apartment in nearby Baldwin Hills. He was 50.

CASSIDY: It was definitely a shock, to say the least. You know, it definitely just took us all by surprise.

CORNISH: Less than a week later, some of the club's regular acts honored Ron with a night of music.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Goodnight and rest in peace, Ron.

(CHEERING)

KELLY: Some of the lives lost to guns on Valentine's Day last year. As Mark Bryant of the Gun Violence Archive notes, this plays out every single day whether there's a mass shooting or not.

BRYANT: We had two incidents that occurred four months apart - Las Vegas and Parkland. And I would have bet good money that that would have moved the ball, and it hasn't.

KELLY: Since the beginning of this year alone, at least 334 children have been injured or killed by guns.

(SOUNDBITE OF NILS FRAHM'S "AMBRE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.