Families share stories of heartbreak at victims’ rights event in Centennial Park

It was a day of solemn remembrance at Centennial Park Saturday.

“My son was murdered here in Fort Myers—12 years next month. And every year, I hope for an arrest. And it hasn’t happened. Twelve years is a long time to wait for justice,” said Debbie Harrison.

Victims of crime in SWFL shared story after story of how violence has changed their lives.

“Yes, we have become victims. Our entire city is at siege with the murders that have taken place,” said Angela McClary, whose son was murdered.

The event was part of National Victims’ Rights Week, and event organizers promised to “expand the circle” to provide more support and resources to crime victims and their families.

But some families say violent crime in SWFL continues to be a problem without a clear solution.

“Fort Myers is still number six in the state of Florida of the most dangerous, high violent crime, murder rates of a city under 70,000 people. And that’s where you guys live. I don’t live here anymore. Who wants to live in a town that has this kind of murder going on?” Harrison said.

Others are calling on the community to band together and curb the trend.

“Every mother, every parent—even the community to come aboard and we’ll fight this fight together,” McClary said.

One theme present at the day’s event from both victims and law enforcement, was if you see something or you know something about a crime—say something.

Reporter:Oliver Redsten