WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — The grief strikes Alvoncia Jackson often. The senseless killing of her 15-year-old grandson Malachi in April cuts deep.

Malachi Jackson

“Malachi’s birthday was the next day from Christmas. And he wasn’t here to celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving, he’s not going to be here to celebrate New Year’s,” Jackson said, her voice cracking.

The homicide rate among juveniles in Washington DC has been on the rise this year, and it has wreaked havoc on families as they try to find answers as to why their loved one was killed.

Jackson’s grandson, affectionately known to the family as “Khi” for short, was bullied and then killed, she said. The family believes they tried to pressure Malachi to deal drugs.

He was out on a run when he was gunned down not far from his home.

“His mom is suffering. My family is suffering. His sister and brother is suffering. They know he’s not there,” Jackson said. “We had to tell his five-year-old brother and his four-year-old sister, when they say where’s Khi, Khi’s gone to heaven.”

Metro Police Department officials said that 16 juveniles were killed in the District this year through Dec. 16, according to the latest stats available. That’s only two fewer deaths than the previous two years combined.

A 16-year-old was arrested in May for Malachi’s death in the Columbia Heights neighborhood his mother had just moved to.

Jackson said Malachi loved boxing and that was his sport of choice and he trained hard. But his passion, though, was caring for his family and being its protector.

“Khi became the father in that family real quick. He had to take responsibilities real quick,” she said. “And he didn’t do it with hate, he didn’t do it because he was asked. Khi did it because he loved his family.”

Malachi was shot point blank in the chest and head, she said. They could only identify him at the morgue through a picture.

“We had family prayer before we went in,” Jackson said. “They brought a picture out and he was laying one side because the side of his head was blown off.”

The string of deaths in Jackson’s family has been intense. In the span of a year, she lost her mother, husband and grandson. Her brother passed away two years earlier.

“His death was very unexpected. It was very hard. We was grieving one behind another,” she said.

The hole in her heart is everlasting, and the teen violence was maddening to her.

“It’s not fair. It’s not right. I’m sick of the guns. I’m sick of this violence,” Jackson said. “I’m sick of the parents blaming each other. I’m sick of the schools not giving enough care for these kids.”