DENVER (CBS4) - It's been more than two months since 21-year-old Isabella Thallas was killed in Denver's Ballpark neighborhood. Her mother joined Denver City Council on Monday as they presented a proclamation honoring her life. Isabella is one of the many young lives lost during the surge of gun violence in Denver.
"I also wanted to express the importance of raising awareness about gun violence and the fact that my daughter was gunned down by an AR-15," said Ana Thallas, Isabella's mother.
Isabella was shot and killed while walking her dog with her boyfriend in June.
On Friday, a bench will be dedicated in Isabella's memory at the park near 17th Street and Park Avenue in Denver. Thomas "Detour" Evans painted a mural of Isabella nearby earlier this summer. Her mother hopes the park will be formally named after Isabella.
"This is her home. I'm hoping it'll be named Bella Joy Gardens. There's nurture in nature. We always had plants around the house, and Isabella was starting to garden with her boyfriend Darian," explained Ana. Darian Simon, who was also shot, is still on a long road to recovery.
Ana envisions the park as a gathering place for other families who are grieving.
"It's not just for us, but for any other family who lost a loved one as a result of gun violence," said Ana. "Even though it's a place of mourning for me, it'll create some joy and closure for people that I hope can come."
Ana is still working with the city on improvements for the park, while finding ways to help other families heal in nature.
"People can bring rocks from their garden, paint them with their loved one's name and we could start building a rock wall," said Ana, who still struggles to visit the memorial where Isabella was killed. "It has a very empty, melancholy, dark feeling over there. I can't go back there. I would rather come to the park."
for more features.