Oakland mother loses second son to gunfire
Monday, July 21, 2008
Mona Hall buried her 22-year-old son in 1992 after he was gunned down in front of her East Oakland home. Now, she's burying her second and only remaining child, who also lost his life to gun violence over the weekend.
Bobby Hall II, 25, was shot and killed at about 11 p.m. Saturday as he visited friends at an apartment on the 6800 block of MacArthur Boulevard in East Oakland. No arrests have been made.
Hall's mother said he was a maintenance man and aspiring rapper who never sold drugs or got into trouble with the law. "To put it bluntly, he wanted a job at a bank," she said today.
Hall and her husband, Bobby Hall Sr., are now reliving the ordeal of having to bury a son. On June 29, 1992, their first-born son, Jesse Hall, 22, was shot and killed as he sat in a car outside the family's home in the Sobrante Park neighborhood in East Oakland.
To help channel her feelings, Mona Hall, 56, wrote a book that came out last year. It's called, "Thru a Mother's Eyes: The Story of Jesse Rahim Hall, My Murdered Child."
She has plans for a second book.
"It's crazy," she said. "We can't believe that we're reliving this nightmare all over again."
Bobby Hall Sr. just celebrated his 60th birthday with his son at his side. Over the weekend, he had to identify his son through a digital photo of the crime scene shown to him by police.
The family has been especially hit hard by violence. In 1993, Mona Hall's nephew was killed after a confrontation that began when a girl's got squirted by a water gun and someone responded by firing a real weapon. In 1994, her brother was gunned down in Sobrante Park.
She had harsh words today for the gun industry.
"As long as the gunmakers are getting their profits, they're going to continue to shell out all these big guns," she said. "And I feel like they have never experienced what we the poor people have experienced down here in the trenches. They apparently have never experienced losing someone like I have, like my family has."
Bobby Hall II was born on Sept. 5, 1982 with a patch of gray hair on the top of his head. Bobby told people, "It's not gray, it's platinum."
When Jesse Hall was gunned down, his brother was especially vigilant as he neared his own 22nd birthday. When Bobby Hall turned 23, he was triumphant and told his mother, "I think I'm going to make it."
"He was ecstatic," his mother said. Now, Mona Hall will have to go through the same grieving process while at the same time deploring the violence that is plaguing her community.
"I'm tired of that," she said. "I'm tired of having to sit down and tell the younger children why their cousin, their brother, their nephew or their uncle isn't here anymore."