2 Gilbert moms turned a Facebook page into a digital town hall for youth violence activists

Mar 13, 2024, 4:15 AM

Surge of youth violence changed Gilbert, East Valley woman says...

The Lily Waterfield Facebook page is dedicated to keeping the spotlight on youth violence in the East Valley. (Facebook screenshot, left, FBI photo, right)

(Facebook screenshot, left, FBI photo, right)

PHOENIX — The recent surge of youth violence in the East Valley has dramatically changed the area, according to two Gilbert mothers.

However, Angela Rogers and Kristine Brennan want to create positive change. That’s why they made a Facebook group to advocate for victims of youth violence like Preston Lord, who died after a brutal group assault on Oct. 28, 2023.

“When I heard the story about Preston, a passion was just sparked inside of me,” Brennan told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Chris and Joe Show last week. “I just became determined that these kids would not get away with murder.”

Rogers and Brennan now use the Lily Waterfield Facebook group to keep a spotlight on the Lord case.

How the surge of youth violence impacted kids in the East Valley

“As the days went on and the deeper the rabbit hole became of research, we learned of the trauma being caused by the Gilbert Goons,” Brennan said.

The gang has gained notoriety for committing blitz-style assaults on teens in the East Valley.

“I stress to my kids how important it is not to be alone, to not leave each other, to watch out for a group of kids,” Rogers said. “In their circle of friends, they already know that they’re not safe.”

A breakthrough took place last week when authorities arrested and charged seven suspects. However, Brennan and Rogers feel like the end is far away.

What the Lily Waterfield Facebook page means to the community

Lily Waterfield began as an incognito account for Rogers. Eventually, she used the account to call out leaders.

It quickly became a place where people aired their grievances and desires for improvement, she said.

“Our community has come together to share countless stories of being silenced, of being ignored, of being not helped,” Rogers said.

From there, the duo dreamed up Project Lily, which encourages young people to advocate for positive change. An upcoming event in late March will honor Lord and offer resources to the community.

They chose the name Project Lily to honor the Facebook group that started it all — and because of its initials.

“Preston Lord’s initials matched with Project Lily,” Rogers said. “He will always be our guiding light.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Live Love is a nonprofit dedicated to improving local communities. (Live Love photos/via Facebook)...

David Veenstra

Chandler approves long-term partnership for new community center development

The city of Chandler reached an agreement with nonprofit Live Love to be able to use a new community center currently being developed. 

4 hours ago

southern Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly...

Associated Press

Jurors don’t have a verdict yet in an Arizona rancher’s trial for fatally shooting a migrant

A jury in southern Arizona is still deliberating in the trial of a rancher charged with fatally shooting an unarmed migrant on his property near the U.S.-Mexico border.

6 hours ago

During an earnings call on April 18, 2024, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. said engineer...

Amy Edelen/Phoenix Business Journal

Wafer production underway at TSMC’s Phoenix factory; Q1 earnings beat expectations

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is making “significant progress” on its north Phoenix site with engineering wafer production already underway.

8 hours ago

Repeat killer sentenced to life in prison after murdering girlfriend...

Tempe man sentenced to life in prison for murdering girlfriend

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office said it sentenced Gary Cox, 60, a repeat killer, to life in prison for murdering his girlfriend.

9 hours ago

Mugshot of Alvin Massenburg II, who was arrested April 17, 2024, in connection with a fatal shootin...

Suspect arrested 2 days after deadly shooting at Phoenix smoke shop

An arrest has been made in a Phoenix smoke shop shooting that left one man dead earlier this week, authorities announced Friday.

10 hours ago

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes speaks to reporters in Phoenix after the state Supreme Court up...

Kevin Stone

Arizona’s near-total abortion ban can’t be enforced before June 8, AG Kris Mayes tells providers

Arizona's near-total abortion ban can't be enforced before June 8, the state's top legal officer told medical providers this week.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

2 Gilbert moms turned a Facebook page into a digital town hall for youth violence activists