PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Family and friends gathered in West Philadelphia Tuesday to remember a young life cut short by gun violence. Sixteen-year-old Kahree Simmons was shot and killed at a rec center last week.
It’s been five days since Kahree Simmons was shot and killed at the Christy Rec Center. On Tuesday, his family held a vigil and balloon release in his honor.READ MORE: Police: Missing 2-Year-Old Byron McDonald Found Safe, Alleged Abductor Connected To Recent Homicides Of Boy's Mother, Grandmother
Black and white balloons released to the heavens, celebrating a life taken way too soon.
“That was my mommy’s baby. That was her world. He was our little brother,” one person said.
Tragedy struck at the Christy Rec Center Thursday. A boy and girl, both 15, were injured and 16-year-old Kahree was killed.
“He did nothing wrong in this situation. He was just here doing what all of us do, come to play basketball and just be kids,” a man said.
Detectives continue to investigate this senseless tragedy. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw says social media is fueling a lot of these conflicts and they are now having detectives monitor those conversations.READ MORE: Dianna Brice Murder: Arrest Warrant Issued For Justin Smith In Connection To Murder Of 21-Year-Old Pregnant Girlfriend
“Life has turned into one big reality TV show. You don’t have to be a celebrity in order to advertise your life or document every moment of what we’re saying and doing,” Commissioner Outlaw said.
Advocates and officials say parents can play a role in monitoring their teen’s social media usage. Instagram shared tips for parents in a new guide released today, but Pastor Carl Day says just talking to teens can spark change.
“Sometimes we don’t think about how polarizing social media is,” he said.
Instagram’s new “restrict mode” allows your teen to keep an eye on a potential bully. They can’t tell they’ve been restricted and posted comments aren’t visible to anyone else but the person who wrote it.
“Back in our day if you had a problem with someone it’s just you, them and the few people that knew. Now you have 6,000 followers, so in everybody’s mind 6,000 people see you trying to play me so now this is the way we have to handle things,” Day said.
Commissioner Outlaw believes parents need to also step up to the plate and pay attention to their children’s social media activity.MORE NEWS: Flyers Sign Forward Scott Laughton To Five-Year Contract Extension
If a parent or anyone else sees anything of concern, there is an anonymous way to reach out to police. You can call 911 or their tipline 215-686-TIPS.