Mother who lost son to gun violence and was later shot in the head gets help for holidays

A local organization is blessing a mother of seven who lost her son to gun violence two years ago and was then shot in the head by a stray bullet this year.

Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes was in Dekalb County, where mom Tanae Durden was hit by a bullet that flew through the wall of her Stonecrest rental home back in May.

“All I know is that I came home from work, took a shower, was talking to my kids trying to get ready for the next day and I heard gunshots,’ Durden said. “I got up to go find my kids and in the midst of that, bullets came through the window and hit me in my head.”

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

She survived and is now headed back to work five months later, but Durden said she is in constant pain.

“I’m the type of mother that, I push my pain aside, and I thrive off of my children’s love,” Durden said. “That’s what I do each day.”

Police arrested Roland Gordon in the shooting. But it was a horrible flashback for Durden and her children, who are all under age 15. Two years ago, her 14-year-old son, Riccario Hale, was shot and killed in the same neighborhood. Police said Hale’s friend stole someone’s phone and that person shot both teens.


“I can still hear my son begging and pleading, asking God to just let me live,” Durden said. “I get up every day because of him. There’s no words to explain how much I miss him.”

Since she was shot, Durden has lost her rental home and the family is living with relatives.

Now, a social club of women called Platinum Highlights decided to adopt Durden’s family for the holidays.

“The only thing she asked is that we can put a smile on her children’s faces,” an organizer said. “She asked me for nothing for herself.”

The women want to do more than just give the family a nice holiday.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]

“Help us help her get back into a home,” organizers said.