‘Living in a war zone’ Missouri grandmother launching grieving app after death of grandson

ST. LOUIS – This past weekend the City of St. Louis had over 20 shootings, including 8 murders, between Friday night and Monday morning. Last year the City recorded its highest number of homicides. The rise in crime, especially gun violence, has residents feeling hopeless.

Stephanie Covington is a resident who has been personally impacted by the violence that plagues the community. Her 19-year-old son, Deshaun Malik Jackson, was robbed and killed in St. Louis on November 25, 2020. Though police have identified his killer and a warrant is out for his arrest, the suspect is still at large. 

The pain of losing her grandson has weighed on her mentally and emotionally. Covington says she still has nights where she cannot sleep, and she tends to blame herself for Jackson’s murder. Covington knows other individuals and families in the area have to be experiencing the same struggles that she is.

“We are living in a war zone,” said Covington. “They don’t care who you are or what you do. They will kill you and not blink twice. We are all tired of sitting here and wondering who’s going to be next.” 

In hopes of creating a space where those grieving the loss of a loved one can connect, Covington has developed an app called Malik Grieving App. The app will be available for Apple and Android users. Through the platform, individuals will be able to engage in conversation, post memorials, photos, and messages to those they’ve lost, and find resources to help through the grieving process specific to their area.

Covington held a fundraiser event at Billions Event Center in the Central West end Saturday evening to gain support from the community. She is trying to raise $30 thousand to help finish the app and finalize its release. Former Missouri State Senator Jamiliah Nasheed attended the event to show her support. 

“Murder is running rapid in our city, and what we want to be able to do here tonight is let those who are here in our city grieving know that they have a platform,” Nasheed said.

Nasheed went on to discuss how over 60 percent of murder cases in the St. Louis area go unsolved, and how residents can help by speaking out against those involved and holding each other accountable. She says the more killers we get off the street will make the next person think twice before picking up a gun and doing something that will ruin their life and the lives of others. 

If you would like to make a donation towards the Malik Grievance App and efforts to combat violence in the St. Louis community, you can Cashapp Stephanie Covington at $MalikGrievances.