PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A vigil was held in a Philadelphia school parking Friday as the community came together to remember a 16-year-old boy who was gunned down walking home from work. Classmates and school staff describe Mekhi Partlow as intelligent and hardworking.
A straight-A student is now gone as Mekhi’s family continues to mourn his loss with its community.
Dozens gathered on Friday to say goodbye to Mekhi in the parking lot of his school. The 16-year-old boy was shot and killed while walking home from a shift at a West Oak Lane Burger King.
“He’d be one where during class you know would crack a joke to kind of lighten the mood a little bit. Well, who’s going to do that now? When we get back in the building I mean there’s gonna be a chair that is supposed to be filled that’s not filled,” teacher Sean Snyder said.
“He was just a lovable person and I feel like his life was taken too soon,” said Deborah Sayyaad, Mekhi’s aunt.
Sayyaad was so close to him, Mekhi called him his “Auntie mom.”
“This has been difficult right now, but we have faith and we’re gonna get through it,” she said.
Police say Mekhi was shot in the head just after midnight on Sept. 24. His family says there have been no updates on the active investigation.
Today’s vigil at The Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School of Philadelphia featured song and prayer, balloon releases and tears for a straight-A student who observers say wanted to work hard and brighten every room.
“I looked forward to that because, you know, it kind of gave him that boost to want to do better, you know? Because he knew that it made us feel good too,” Sayyaad said.
The constant refrain today was we need to figure out how to keep our young people safe as gun violence is up throughout the community, specifically among minors.