Mortuary shines spotlight on QC's alarming homicide rate

It’s one of the strangest fliers some have probably seen; a funeral home is raffling off a free funeral.

“A $5,000 free drawing for a funeral that is good for your lifetime,” said Reverend Cecil Gilmore, owner of Gilmore Mortuary.

When people pass away, business for him is good, but he doesn’t want it like this. Charlotte has hit 59 homicides halfway through the year.

“We want to bring a stop to it,” he said, “bring an awareness to the people,” he continued, “this has got to stop, and I think by doing this, it catch attention.”

The event Gilmore is hosting August 10th will have free food, life insurance advisors and a conversation about working toward a safer charlotte.

“Just pause for a moment,” Gilmore said. “stop for a minute. This is real. It's not a dream.”

Lucille Puckett found out funeral costs can be overwhelming when she suddenly lost her son to gun violence.

“I wasn't even prepared when my son was murdered at 26,” she said. “The community itself kicked in, and they said, ‘no we want a funeral,’ and they raised the money,” Puckett said.

Puckett is doing her part to stop the violence in the Queen City. She carries her son’s ashes every day in a necklace around her neck, and has a tattoo of him on her arm. Wednesday, she walked along Beatties Ford Rd. where so many young people have lost their lives already this year. She’s hoping to spark the same change in the community as Gilmore Mortuary.

“I support anyone that's promoting stopping the violence,” Puckett said, “and when we talk about a funeral, it can be very expensive.”

The community cookout with the free funeral raffle is on August 10 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. at Gilmore Mortuary Services (401 West Sugar Creek Rd.).