Brundidge holds ‘Stop the Violence’ rally after robbery-homicide
Published 1:30 am Tuesday, July 30, 2019
A “Stop the Violence” rally and vigil was held in Brundidge Sunday evening to honor the memory of Neil Purush Kumar, who was killed during a robbery at J&S Buy Rite in downtown Brundidge early Wednesday morning.
The event also honored the memories of Depre Flowers, Pryzim Ransom and Joe Patterson whose lives were also lost to violent crimes.
The rally and vigil began at 6 p.m. with a memory walk along Main Street that culminated at the Knox Ryals Pavilion on the grounds of Brundidge City Hall.
Pastor Jimmy Jackson urged those in attendance to be assured that prayer changes things.
“The time is now,” Jackson said. “The greatest weapon is God’s Holy Word. We stand on that.”
Brundidge Mayor Isabell Boyd called on the Brundidge community to put God first and to do the right thing.
Boyd said it is important that the people of Brundidge stand together in support of one another, for sadness prevails and hearts are heavy.
“But this is not a time to take our town down,” Boyd said. “It is the time to lift Brundidge up. This is our town. We must pull together so we can move forward to a better day.”
Brundidge Police Chief Moses Davenport told the gathering that a dark cloud has hung over the town of 2,000 over the last few day. But he offered assurance that “better days are coming.”
Members of the Flowers, Ransom and Patterson families spoke about the heartbreak of losing a loved one to violent crimes. They shared the hope that no one would ever have to hear a mother scream when she is told that her son is dead.
Several friends of Neil Kumar gave insight into the kind and caring young man he was and their desire for justice to be served for him.
Cindy Lim, a Troy University student from Malaysia, said Kumar befriended her and provided the guidance she needed in her transition to a foreign and lonely place.
“I had no family in America and I knew no one when I came. This was a different life for me,” Lim said. “Neil was shy but he was caring. He guided me and always made sure life was going well with me. He was intelligent and he work hard. He had so much to offer the world. This terrible thing should not have happened to him.”
The “Stop the Violence” rally concluded with a candlelight service that was a visual reminder that, even amid the darkness and pain that has engulfed the City of Brundidge and taken a place in the hearts of family and friends of the fallen victims, there is light,
“There is no way to explain the taking of a life and we are grieving,” Pastor Darel Caldwell said. “But, as we leave this place, we won’t need candles because Jesus Christ is the Light of the World and there will be a new day, a brighter day.”