STUTTGART, Ark.- The mother of two men shot in Stuttgart earlier this month begs her community to come together.
Ann Bouie is the mother of Zach and Ricola Geans.
Ricola Geans was shot on February 5. He survived, and will soon have surgery, according to Bouie.
Zach Geans was shot and killed on February 13.
In a Facebook Live hosted by the Stuttgart Daily Leader on Tuesday, Bouie says God had prepared her for losing one of her children by giving her a vision that one of her children died.
“I had to pray,” she says. “I had been praying for three months prior to this that God give me the strength, the knowledge, you know, the understanding to be able to deal with whatever lies ahead. And now I can see why He had to prepare me, because had not I’d be prepared, I would have had a lot of malice in my heart.”
Bouie also says its time for the community to come together.
“It’s time to heal,” she says. “It’s time to mend those broken bridges, ’cause we should have been, even as adults, you know, we should have been able to talk. So from this point on, you know, I’m open to talk.”
She also wants young men to know that guns and violence are not the answers.
“You have not only just the person who is deceased, you know, his family having to worry about, but you have a whole other family, and they have to deal with the process of, you know what I’m saying, the process of jail, you know, having to put out money for lawyers and stuff like that,” Bouie explains. “On parents, I mean, it’s heartbreaking on us. After even like burying my own child, yet still, I can’t even imagine having to wait on one to see what the future holds for them.”
Bouie says this has caused a rift within the family.
“We only get one life, and my baby’s life is gone,” she says as she tears up. “He don’t get to go back and push replay. My young cousins sits in jail. They don’t get to go back and push replay. My heart goes out for them. My heart goes out for my children. My heart goes out for the community, because this ain’t how we was raised.”
She advises the best thing to do is just let it go.
“It’s not worth it,” she says. “It’s not worth it. So, I have to find forgiveness in my heart. If anybody out there mad, I ask you to find forgiveness in your heart, because we only get one life.”
Bouie says she wants to see changes in Stuttgart.
“I want Stuttgart to heal,” she says. “He shook it up, now make it worth it. Don’t let the town be shook up and we go back to what we was doing before this all happened. Make it work for the good.”
Bouie says Stuttgart needs mentoring programs.
“Sometimes you just need to show raw love, because people need it. These children need it,” she says.
She also says children need someone they can trust and call talk to, even police.
“It even starts at the police department,” she says. “Y’all have to humble y’allself. You have to humble yourself, and you have to meet the person where they are. You have to meet them where they are.”
Bouie says her son, Ricola, is a fighter.
“Not once since this happened has his spirits been down,” she says.
She also said her son lost half of his colon and a part of his small intestines due to the shooting, but has a whole new healing process due to injuries to his face.
For more on this story, watch the video above.