Families of gun violence victims in Houston gather to talk about solutions, honor lives lost

Melody Celestine is doing everything she can to figure out who killed her husband, 47-year-old Dashawn Celestine. 

On July 12 around 7:30 a.m., the local businessman and father of five was checking on one of his rental properties on the 12000 block of Sunset Ridge Lane. 

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His wife was told by HPD detectives they believe at least two men armed with a gun approached Celestine in the driveway and shot him. 

"The police believe he was possibly followed once he stopped to get gas," says Melody. "He went inside the house, and once he came back, they walked up with ski masks, shot him, and took off running." 

Police say no suspects have been identified, and no motive has been given for this shooting. 

"When I look at the news, I think about the people's heartache that I have now," says Celestine. "This is their story, and now my story."

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She shares the same grief as many other families in the city, as the Houston Police Department count 282 homicides for 2022 - a 3% increase from 2021. 

It was the topic of discussion at Friday's No More Violence Summit at The Church at Bethel's Family in southwest Houston. 

Several families of gun violence victims remembered their loved ones through pictures and prayers at the campus. 

Organizers say the rise in violent crime, particularly among young people, is a multifaceted issue. 

"I've been burying a lot of young people," says Pastor Walter August, Jr. "We have members who are in pain. We have to provide opportunities for those who need to work, and I personally believe that every teenager needs to have a job that puts some legal money in their pocket."  


Patricia Allen, Co-Founder of the No More Violence Organization, urged the youth in attendance to not retaliate against violence with more violence. 

She also gave the organization's commitment to supporting local families who are still grieving. 

Melody Celestine says she hopes those families can heal while also waiting on justice in those murder cases. 

She's urging the public to help out with any information they can on her husband's shooting. 

"I understand the community where my husband was being fearful of not wanting to share, but at some point, we have to stop being afraid," says Celestine. 


Crime Stoppers announced this week they may pay up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest made in this case. 

The No More Violence Summit continues Saturday morning with an emphasis on gang violence, road rage, and human trafficking. Houston Police Chief Troy Finner and Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg are both scheduled to attend.