gun

Trey Kay

Two rivers run through Charleston, West Virginia. While most of the city is situated on the Kanawha, it’s the Elk River that demarcates the West Side from the governmental and business center of Charleston. Today, the West Side is the poorest neighborhood in Charleston.

Sunday dinner is a big deal in Deanna McKinney’s family. Deanna’s a de facto mom to her three sisters and two brothers -- when she moved to West Virginia from New York City, they came too.  These Sunday dinners are to remind the siblings that someone’s always got their back.

Deanna’s told the story of her son’s murder so many times, that she can recount it to me -- a relative stranger with a microphone -- while she picks out cornbread mix at the grocery store. His name was Tymel and his senseless death is an experience that has defined her life and informed who she is.