For deputy's widow, gun buy back day hits close to home

Gwen Gerald at Gun Buy Back Event

A community came together Saturday to bring an end to violence for the Stop the Violence Peace Festival and second annual Gun Buy Back in Conway.

It's been 11 years since Gwen Gerald's husband, Randy was shot and killed on his way home from work.

Randy had just finished working his shift as an Horry County Sheriff's deputy when he came across a woman being abused and tried to help.

At Saturday's gun buy back, people could turn in guns with no questions asked, a program designed to remove unlawful and unwanted weapons from the streets. For Gwen, the event was about making sure nobody else suffers the pain she and her two daughters feel every day.

"He would be very proud of me to be here. I thought of that as I was getting ready to come. He would be very proud to know that I was supporting such a cause," Gwen explained.

To Gwen, Saturday's event is just the beginning, something she hopes continues for years to come so that another police officer can go home to their family after a long day of work.

"I hope and pray no other family would have to endure what we went through," she said.

People who dropped off guns received gift cards worth $50 to $100. Officials said 70 guns were collected and they will be destroyed.