Lauryn Renford has mixed emotions when she looks at "The Limestone of Lost Legacies," a newly unveiled mural dedicated to young lives lost in D.C. to gun violence.
"I feel fulfilled that I was able to get this project up in two years, but I am sad that it had to happen," Renford said.
Her boyfriend, 16-year-old Zaire Kelly, is one of five teens honored on the wall on 8th Street SE. He was shot and killed while he was walking home from a college mentorship program.
Paris Brown, Jamahri Sydnor, Taiyania Thompson and Steve Slaughter were murdered in separate shootings two years ago. Their faces are also memorialized on the wall.
"I am sad that Zaire is on it. But I’m also sad that there are other four teenagers," Renford said.
Renford was one of the last people Kelly texted before he was killed. After his death, she and an organization she co-founded called "Pathways 2 Power" at Thurgood Marshall High School raised $13,000 to fund the project.
"There is definitely healing properties to art and this remains a place of healing," Renford said.
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Local artist Martin Swift painted the mural.
"It’s been a really blessing and pleasure to work with these young people," Swift said.
D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine commended Renford and her supporters.
"These five are indicative of or entire homicide rate and I think that’s what’s makes them so special," Racine said.