Montgomery family keeps slain loved one's memory alive with unique initiative

Montgomery family keeps slain loved one's memory alive with unique initiative
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's a cold case that continues to grip Montgomery – a business owner shot and left for dead inside his barbershop.

As the search for the killer continues, Jay McCord's family is keeping his community outreach alive. They sponsored a summer camp geared at teaching kids to turn away from violence.

It's called Camp Jesus Saves and it wrapped up Friday at the Connecting Life Community Center on West Edgemont Avenue with a graduation and banquet. It was sponsored by Triple J initiative, an organization started by Furlesia Bell and her family to bridge the gap between the community and the church.

"This week, they have learned The Ten Commandments, the Last Supper, baptism, the life of Christ, as well as dispute resolution and a variety of life skills," Bell said. "Learn how to walk away. If you're raised in the church, you have certain things instilled in you. Everyone is not going to go to church. That's reality. But if we can bring the church to them, which is what my organization is trying to do, then I think that we can do our part to make this world a little bit better."

Bell and her relatives started Triple J in memory of her brother Jay McCord, whose 2014 murder remains unsolved. It was profiled on Montgomery Unsolved, a cold case series, in an effort to uncover new information.

McCord was gunned down inside his barbershop called "Mr. Barber Man Barber & Style Shop" on Mount Meigs Road in Montgomery. At noon on Oct. 14, 2014, customers walked in to get their hair cut and found McCord suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

The shooting remains a mystery, and there's little evidence on who killed McCord or what the motive was.

McCord served time in the Army, working in helicopter maintenance. Later, as a cosmetologist, he built his client base to include male and female customers of all ages. He was known for giving haircuts to those who couldn't afford them and doing free back-to-school cuts for kids.

"My brother did a lot of work in the community, so definitely I wanted to do something to give back," Bell said.

She reached out to Torian Hamilton, who has had similar experiences, to volunteer at the camp. Hamilton has also started a nonprofit organization, Positive Parents Have Power, in the wake of her own personal tragedies after she lost her son in a horrific shooting at a Montgomery nightclub.

Hamilton said programs like Camp Jesus Saves are exactly what's needed in the community to make a difference in the lives of young people.

"It's going to initially take love, prayer and parents to come out to be a part of anything that someone is trying to do to bring our children together to love over our kids and show respect and be honest about what's going on in the streets with this gun violence," she said.

Just as her brother did for years before his murder, Bell and Triple J will be hosting a back-to-school free haircut event on Aug. 6 starting at 4 p.m. at Marie's Grand Salon and Cuts by Spanky, located on the service road to the Boulevard between Norman Bridge and Court Street.

"He would do back-to-school events for kids who could not afford haircuts so we wanted to continue that," Bell said. "We're also going to give away four free hairdos that's donated by Marie. Also, Triple J Initiative will be there giving away water, hot dogs and chips and speaking with the kids about what our organization does."

Bell says Triple J's goal is to get Christ back into the home.

"I believe the only way to stop some of the violence in the city is to get God back into our children. Once a child picks up a gun, we're not going to be there, but if they can call on God or they fall back on the things that we have taught them, then maybe they'll be less apt to commit a crime," she said.

Anyone with information on the barbershop killing should call Central Alabama CrimeStoppers at 215-STOP.

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