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Family of shooting victim holds Christmas giveaway to aid others who have lost loved ones
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Family of shooting victim holds Christmas giveaway to aid others who have lost loved ones

HAMMOND — The family of a homicide victim has launched a giveaway to help others who have lost loved ones to gun violence during the holidays. 

The Jalen L. Hunter Foundation is selecting 10 families between Nov. 15 and Dec. 3 to receive a $100 gift card. 

The first 10 families who apply and meet at least one of the requirements will receive a gift card. Those who apply must either be a parent of a deceased victim of gun violence, raising a deceased shooting victim's children or live in a single-parent household affected by a loss due to gun violence. 

For more information, individuals can visit

Earlier in November, the family raised thousands of dollars to offer as a reward in search of the shooter who took the life of 26-year-old Jalen Hunter in late August.

A reward of $10,000 is being offered for the the arrest and conviction of the person who killed Jalen Hunter, of Jacksonville, Florida. Hunter was fatally shot while he was staying in Northwest Indiana to attend his cousin's funeral and visit with family, his mother, Vanessa Lopez, said. 

Hunter was found dead from gunshot wounds inside a vehicle at 5 p.m. Aug. 24 in the 500 block of Lewis Street, said Hammond Police Department Lt. Steve Kellogg.

The investigation is ongoing and the search for a suspect continues. 

In the wake of loss, Lopez and her family have created the Jalen L. Hunter Foundation Inc., which aims to help other families who have lost loved ones to gun violence. Lopez said the organization will be focused on grief support, aiding in funeral costs and also community outreach. 

The Jalen L. Hunter Foundation can be reached at and 219-629-3801. 

Anyone with information about the homicide is urged to call Hammond Detective Sgt. Joe Munoz at 219-852-2995.


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Night Crime/Breaking News Reporter

Anna Ortiz is the breaking news/crime reporter for The Times, covering crime, politics, courts and investigative news. She is a graduate of Ball State University with a major in journalism and minor in anthropology. 219-933-4194,

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