GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Dr. Irish Spencer only had 25 years with her son.

“The worst words in the world any mother wants to ever hear in her life, ‘I’m sorry to inform you that your son has been killed,’ and I just hit the ground,” she said.

Her son William McKinley Spencer III, who loved ones called Tre’, was shot and killed on Feb. 20, 2016, after trying to break up a fight.

As a mother of a murdered child, Spencer has been working tirelessly to support mothers with a similar story and to make communities across Greensboro safer.

“You’re going to be sad, but it’s time to get mad…when I got mad, I got really mad,” she said.

She started pulling statistics on the number of homicides in the area where her son was killed. After gathering data on crime trends, she gave Greensboro city leaders a notebook containing everything she had found.

That boldness gave her the support she needed to clean up an area riddled with crime.

“The police department…went down through there and they helped me. City council helped me live up to the promise that I gave those neighbors,” Spencer said.

Spencer is the founder of the nonprofit Families Against Senseless Killings. It connects mothers to resources (emotional, financial, legal, etc.) as they navigate the trauma of losing a child to gun violence.

“The side that a lot of folks don’t understand is that there are people that can’t afford to go get their babies out of the morgue,” she said. “They don’t know what to do…they can’t call anybody because who takes out insurance on a 12 or 13, 14, 15 year {old}? Who does that?”

Along with working with elected officials, Spencer organizes community events to bring a broader awareness to the impact of gun violence.

“What we’re put here for is to help the least of these,” she said.