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64-year-old landscaper killed by stray bullet in shooting that left 26-year-old dead

64-year-old landscaper killed by stray bullet in shooting that left 26-year-old dead
64-year-old landscaper killed by stray bullet in shooting that left 26-year-old dead 02:46

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Lansing woman is sharing her heartbreak and sorrow after losing her husband -- an innocent victim of Chicago's gun violence. Larry Purnell, 64, was killed by a stray bullet as he mowed a backyard for a Mother's Day celebration when he was shot. 

Purnell, also known as Big Goldie by his family, was known as a person who wanted to help keep kids from violence. He invited them to learn about the landscaping business. 

Now his wife is torn apart and says she can't go through this type of pain again. 

Through tears and laughter, she and her family reminisced on the good times. The couple were high school sweethearts. 

Larry was one of 13 siblings. 

"He was always helping somebody," his sister Jacquelynn Purnell said. "Always helped me. I'm his baby sister, so he always helped me." 

Sharon and Larry Purnell have been inseperable since they were teenagers. 

"I've been with him since I was 14 years old and I'm 60," she said. 

Within the last five years Larry opened his own lawn care company. 

"He wanted to help people around the community and go get younger folks back from Harvey that wasn't doing much," Sharon said. 

Larry was shot Saturday afternoon in West Pullman. He was mowing the backyard for a family's Mother's Day celebration when he heard gunshots and was struck in the chest. 

Brandon Slater, 26, was fatally shot in front of his mother's home. His 27-year-old friend was also shot in the leg. 

Sharon said Larry's business took him all over the Chicagoland area. 

"He liked to work with the community, and it wasn't just here in the suburbs. He was always going out in the city as to work and unfortunately he was at the wrong place at the wrong time," she said through tears. 

Just five years ago Sharon lost her son to gun violence. 

"I'm not even getting over my child," she said. "To bury my husband and here on Mother's Day. He was supposed to be here with me." 

Larry was just two weeks away from turning 65. 

As the family continues to mourn, they are pleading for an end to this gun violence. Sharon said she will continue to fight for answers for her son's death as we as her husband's. 

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