SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Theresa Wallace showed us one of her most prized possessions — it came from her most devastating memory.
“I took it from right here,” Wallace said while motioning to part of her head. “It took 10 minutes to wash the blood out.”READ MORE: WATCH: 5-Year-Old Manteca T-Ball Player's Walk-Up Dance Goes Viral On TikTok
Her grandson’s dreadlock is all she has left after he was gunned down in Sacramento five years ago.
“I just began to scream,” she said. “I just began to scream because that was the only release that I had.”
It was her only release until now. Theresa came back to Sacramento for her grandson’s murder trial on the same day of the mass shooting. But instead of preparing for the trial, she went to a memorial. The tragedy is drudging up old pain for her family.
“It hit me right here because I’ve been through the exact same thing,” said her son, Halifu Appling.
Theresa is now turning their pain into positive. She just started a bereavement and crisis center to help victims of gun violence.READ MORE: 'We Have To Do Something': Assembly Passes Bill That Would Allow California Parents To Sue For Social Media Addiction
“This is my hope and this is my endeavor that we will have a place that we will come and be educated and inspired and heal,” said Wallace.
Dr. Angela Drake, a clinical professor with the department of psychiatry at UC Davis Health, commends Wallace and hopes those impacted by Sacramento’s mass shooting will find a similar positive outlet to overcome their grief.
“If you can turn a tragedy around and understand it better or help others, or give action in ways that are going to improve the situation, those are positive responses,” said Dr. Drake.
Wallace and her family see it as a positive response and a way to keep her grandson’s legacy alive.
“He didn’t die in vain and he has a legacy,” Appling said. “And we can help other families, help other people.”MORE NEWS: Quail Fire In Vacaville Now 100% Contained
Wallace says the mass shooting only pushes her to work harder to heal her communities. Her non-profit was only just now approved as a 501(c)(3). She’s hoping to provide resources to victims for mental health and physical healing.