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Mother of Rock Island shooting victim calls on community to ‘stop this violence’

The mother of a young man shot to death in Rock Island is calling on parents, clergy, ministers, and elected officials to get involved to try and curb the gun violence that killed her son.

"I am calling on pastors, ministers, priests, brothers, to all come together. Find me. Come to me. I need you. I'm a Christian, reaching out for help. We need to stop this violence," said Othea Stevenson.

Her son, Demar Bester, 24, of Rock Island was shot to death Tuesday night around 10:30 pm in the west side neighborhood where he grew up.

She received a call from her crying daughter around 11 o'clock that night.

"Saying our son was shot. Immediately, I started praying to God to save my son," said Stevenson, who is a school teacher in Southern Illinois.

She and her husband hit the road and drove from Shiloh, Illinois to her hometown of Rock Island. But, it was too late.

"I didn't get a chance to see my son, because they put him in a body bag," she said.

Demar worked as a cook at Fazoli's Restaurant in Moline, and was excited about another possible job opportunity after a recent interview.

Police are still investigating the shooting.