Motivated by her guardian angel, woman starts non-profit to help families of murder victims

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Her six-year-old cousin was shot and killed in one of the most tragic murders of the year, and now she's created an organization to help families facing the same pain.

Five children, all under the age of 15, have been killed since last October throughout the metro. It's a devastating trend that has city leaders searching for a solution.

Now one of the victim's families is starting a new group to join the fight for justice.

"I just feel like she's here, she's always around me," Ashley Newson said.

Newson says her cousin Angel Hooper is now her guardian angel. Hooper was shot and killed at a gas station after buying bubblegum with her dad, and as Newson dealt with their tragic loss, more children were killed in the following months.

"I was just sitting thinking what could I do to help my cousin? What could I do?" she said.

Newson came up with the idea, Justice 4 Angels. It's a non-profit organization for all of the families who have lost their children to senseless violence.

"No matter what race or what color, I feel like their all my cousins, they're all my baby angels. I just want to help them," Newson said.

Newson already has a website up and running. Her hope is to someday soon, have weekly contact with all of the families and help them find financial support so they don't have to rush back to work.

"When you're hurting, it's always nice to help someone that's hurting. You share the exact same pain as them and you guys can help each other. That's what it's all about," she said.

Newson knows that pain very well.

She and her family sat in a court room as the two men charged in Hooper's murder took the stand. On these days when they're feeling weak, Newson wants to build other families back up.

She's been in contact with Machole Stewart's family, a 10-year-old girl killed a week after Hooper.

"We're not gonna stop screaming justice for her baby. Her case went cold to her and she's not having any clues and she's lost. But I want her to know that there are still other people beside her family that are on her side and willing to help," Newson said.

And as Newson sat in her office, organizing and starting new plans for her non-profit, she says she knows her cousin is right behind her, watching over her; being her sole motivation.

"I feel that she's up there in heaven with her other angel friends, just waiting for us to get there."

The men accused in Hooper's murder, Howard Chase and Leandre Smith, will appear for trial in November.

For more information on the organization go to www.justice4angels.net

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