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'Beautifully heartbreaking' | Art exhibit highlights victims lost to gun violence

The exhibit included more than 100 portraits of children and young adults lost to gun violence.

CAPITOL HEIGHTS, Md. — A victims' support group is using art to help families heal from the consequences of gun violence.

On Friday, families from D.C., Maryland and Tennessee came together to view the Life, Light & Love exhibit at Redeemed Christian Fellowship in Capitol Heights.

RELATED: Teenager shot multiple times in District Heights, Md. was visiting a friend, police say

The exhibit, which was organized by a nonprofit support group called Rizpah Network, showcased 100 portraits of children and young adults who have lost their lives to violence. 

Rizpah Network Director ChiQuitta Williams called the exhibit "beautifully heartbreaking." 

"Our artists were able to do each of these images and they put them on quilt panels," she said. 

Wanda Briscoe, a St. Mary's County mother, said her son was murdered in late 2018. She said the exhibit gives families a way to keep the memories of their loved ones alive.

RELATED: Law enforcement, federal prosecutors double down on efforts to trace illegal guns in DMV

"People will walk on egg shells around you and your family," Briscoe said. "And they won't mention your son or daughter and, you're like, 'did they forget?'" 

The exhibit also displayed five quilts of the faces of 40 young victims of gun violence from D.C., Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee.

As of Dec. 20, 2019, 161 people have been murdered in DC, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. That is five more people than at the same point last year.

However, violent crime is only up one percent overall in the District.

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