Saginaw mom restarting native chapter of Mother and father of Murdered Youngsters assist group

SAGINAW, MI – Tamara Tucker is no stranger to grief. Unfortunately, over the years she has become familiar with the specific pain associated with prematurely knocking down a close family member as a result of an act of violence.

In her 46 years, the lifelong resident of Saginaw has lost a brother, sister and, perhaps most devastatingly, a daughter to gun violence.

Rather than indulging in a crippling sense of loss that such devastation can wreak, Tucker is reviving the Saginaw chapter of a program to help other parents in the area deal with murdered children.

Parents of Murdered Children (POMC) is a national non-profit organization founded by Robert and Charlotte Hullinger in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1978 after their 19-year-old daughter Lisa was killed in Germany. POMC has chapters across the country.

“Nobody wants to be part of this type of organization, but it’s a necessary and necessary organization in our community,” Tucker said. “Gun violence is … we can’t get around it, so we have to deal with it.”

The support group will include volunteers who provide a compassionate ear and service to those whose children have been killed. For example, after a tragedy, volunteers could bring people food, help them with general maintenance, or provide a shoulder to rest on, Tucker said.

“We go beyond the mourning process to make it through the funeral,” she said. “Call someone when you need to talk. There will be days when you are happy, there will be days when you are sad. If you need to speak to someone, we are here to help. “

A Saginaw chapter previously existed but hadn’t been active for about two years, Tucker said. The group’s immediate plans include scheduling monthly meetings, recruiting volunteers, organizing a meet-and-greet event, and putting together an event for September 25th, established by Congress in 2007 as a national memorial day for murder victims.

Tamara Tucker’s story

As mentioned earlier, Tucker himself experienced the sudden death of a close family member three times from violence.

On May 31, 1990, her 17-year-old brother Elton C. Simmons Jr. was shot dead in Saginaw. No one has ever been charged with any criminal offense.

“The murder remains unsolved to this day,” said Tucker.

On the morning of October 31, 2019, Tucker’s younger sister, Tia Pittman, was shot dead outside the maisonette in West Tampa, Florida along with their child’s father, Stanley Peck. The couple had recently moved to Florida from Saginaw to take care of her for Peck’s ailing father.

Police arrested 26-year-old suspect Tyrail R. Kendrick, who, according to the Tampa Bay Times, was charged with two premeditated first degree murders and one armed robbery.

In early 2019, Tucker struggled with the death of her eldest of six children, MoeNeisha M. Simmons-Ross.

Simmons-Ross was shot once in the head on the night of March 1st while standing in the doorway of her second-floor apartment at 2725 Weiss Street on the west side of Saginaw. She had tried to prevent her friend Patrick A. Martin Jr. from leaving her apartment with a 9mm pistol that she had bought a few days earlier when he shot her with it.

MoeNeisha M. Simmons-Ross

At the time of her death, Simmons-Ross was 10 to 12 weeks pregnant with Martin’s child, to be called Nasir Asai MoeNay Simmons. Simmons-Ross was the mother of three sons, the youngest of whom also had Martin.

Tucker said her daughter was community minded and of a charitable nature.

“I work in the ward to show my children that when you are part of a ward and serving, you are not a problem,” said Tucker. “So she was always volunteering wherever I was, or she pulled me where she volunteered.”

Tucker described her late daughter as “a great person”.

“She always had a smile on her face, a beautiful smile,” she said. “She would help anyone she could.”

Tucker referred to a post on her daughter’s Facebook page in which a woman said Simmons-Ross had restored her trust in humanity. The woman ran out of gas near Simmons-Ross’ house and Simmons-Ross took it upon himself to improve the woman’s situation, Tucker said.

“That’s exactly the kind of person my daughter was,” she continued. “She would give you the shirt off her back. She always helped. God enabled her to help many people in spite of everything she went through. She was a single mother of three and didn’t let that stop her. When you need her help, she was there. “

She added that she learned more about her daughter’s kindness after her death. In particular, she was referring to a man Simmons-Ross met when they both happened to be at a MichiganWorks! Office. The man had recently moved to the area and had few resources.

“She shared her lunch with him and then bought him groceries because he and his girlfriend had no food or anything at the time,” Tucker said. “She was a very, very beautiful person.”

Simmons-Ross recently got two jobs prior to her death after being hired by Sodexo and Safe Hands Warm Hearts. She had previously worked at Walmart and an Admiral gas station.

“She made sure she’s kept busy,” Tucker said. “Her long-term goal was to do something in psychology. She wanted to help women. “

Throughout all of this, her children came first.

“She was a great mother,” said Tucker. “She loved her boys. She called her three sons her three kings. “

Martin’s trial on Simmons-Ross’s death charges ended on April 1 when the jury found him guilty of first degree murder and attacked a pregnant person who caused a miscarriage or stillbirth, a criminal in possession of a gun, intimidation and three witnesses Criminal weapon charges. The jury paused for about half an hour before reaching their verdict.

During the trial, defense attorney William D. White argued that Martin had no intention of killing Simmons-Ross and that the shooting was accidental.

“Justice has been served,” Tucker said of Martin’s belief. “I am grateful to Blair Stevenson (Assistant District Attorney for Saginaw County) for ensuring that justice is maintained and that all information is accurate and accurate. It was definitely a huge relief. “

POMC goes on

POMC’s previous Saginaw chapter was founded in 2011. Among those who benefited from this was Fred Harvey, who joined him in 2012 following the deaths of his 19-year-old son Frederick R. Jones-Harvey Jr. and his 20-year-old son. old nephew Marcus D. Buckley Jr. on July 21 of this year.

“It helped me a lot,” said Harvey of his experience with the group. “I had a chance to get some kind of cure. When you go through a tragedy, you can hear similarities and realize that you are not alone. “

Tamara Tucker brings back the Saginaw chapter of the parents of murdered children

Tamara Tucker poses for a photo outside of the Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) Council Great Lakes Bay region in Saginaw on Tuesday April 6, 2021. Tucker revived the Saginaw chapter of Parents of Murdered Children (POMC) after she has lost her daughter, MoeNeisha M. Simmons-Ross, to gun violence. (Kaytie Boomer | Boomer |

Harvey compared the group to a sisterhood or brotherhood.

“It’s an uncomfortable feeling when you lose someone who is so dear,” he said. “There are a lot of people who are really hurt out here who need that kind of support, that need guidance and someone to talk to.”

Harvey later received certification as a grief counselor and plans to use that in the revived POMC chapter.

“Everyone does it differently with grief,” he said. “I’ll meet you where you are. Everyone is different when it comes down to it. It’s very upsetting. You have put yourself back together piece by piece. It’s an everyday job just to keep your sanity. “

Tucker agreed, saying that the emotions surviving parents go through after a child is murdered can determine the pitch range.

“It is never easy to face the death of a loved one,” she said. “When a murder happens, you have anger, you have frustration. They wonder if I’m a good parent and what else I could have done. All of this grief is exacerbated. It can be very challenging for some who do not know that there are resources out there to reach out to. “

The Chapter has established Newer Dimensions Fellowship Ministries at 3430 Jefferson Street in Carrollton Township as a meeting place. Those who want to volunteer or get help can call 989-332-8864.

“Taking a life is never necessary, never justified,” said Tucker. “It is very important that you can only contact an organization that identifies something that you are going through. You will need this ongoing emotional support. “

In 2020, the city of Saginaw had 26 murders, 24 of which involved firearms. Last year the city had nine murders, eight of which involved guns.

“This restart is necessary for our community,” said Tucker.

Continue reading:

Family seeks help after Michigan wife, friend killed in Florida

The jury ponders half an hour before declaring the Saginaw man guilty of murdering his pregnant friend

Saginaw County Parents of Murdered Children: Mother Talks Son’s Death, Value of Support Group

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