BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — In light of the Birmingham’s high number of shootings and homicides, one teenager found a way to honor the victims of violence.
15-year-old Matthew Alford put together a four-minute video highlighting all of the shootings making it go viral.
The video has more than 287,000 views on Facebook, Alford said he was up one night and turned to social media.
He gathered all the video he could of when these shootings happened – all as a way to let the world see gun violence through a different lens.
Video after video all pulled from Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, laid under an instrumental track of Whitney Houston’s “I’ll Always Love You,” as a message to other young people committing senseless violence.
“They need to pay attention a little bit more as to what is going on out here because they never know when they will be next,” Alford said. “It’s people dying out here left and right and you never know if it’s going to be you or your friend.”
Matthew knows all too well the seriousness of gun violence, he knew Raven White, a teenager who was shot and killed last year in Birmingham while sitting in the car with her boyfriend. Her murder remains unsolved.
“She used to come to my church, and she used to sing and it’s like every time she sang, it was like you got a good vibe off it and you knew she was a child of God,” Alford said.
The experience was when he and his twin sister were caught in the crossfire when shots rang out at the fair in Center Point a few months ago, a real wake-up call for the 15-year-old.
“When I saw that it was all over some Facebook beef, then I realized that all my beefs, they start on Facebook,” Alford said.
“That’s when I was like I’ve got to calm down all that on Facebook, getting into the mess that’s probably not involving me,” Alford said. “That’s involving a friend, but I’m just trying to be a good friend when being a good friend can probably get you killed.”
Alford plans to run track at Pinson Valley High School in the Fall.