ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Members of a Rockford community group held a protest against gun violence in front of the Winnebago County Courthouse on Thursday.
Those taking part held signs reading “Honk if you love Jesus” along with photos of victims of shootings.
The gathering was organized by the family of teens Joey and Jorge Torres, who were shot and killed last month on Willard Avenue.
Their accused killer appeared in court on Thursday. The 17-year-old is accused of two counts of First-Degree Murder with an enhancement for the use of a firearm, two counts of Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, and Unlawful Use of a Weapon.
A second teen, Liberty Powers, 18, is accused of Felony Obstruction of Justice in the killings.
Joey Torres’ mother, Bertha Ceballos, says she is now dedicated to pursuing justice for her son and others killed in shootings.
“It feels good to have the people stand behind us, because our voice needs to be heard,” Ceballos said. “This is just the beginning. The day I left my son in the hospital was just the beginning for me as a mother, because never do you think in a million years it will be your own kid, until it happens.”
The families have started a petition against gun violence in Rockford.