PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A community is in pain as they remember a teen whose life was cut short by the gun violence epidemic that is plaguing Philadelphia. Sixteen-year-old Kaylin Johnson was one of two teenagers killed in a triple shooting in West Philadelphia on Wednesday.
The Boys Latin Charter School student was a standout athlete.READ MORE: 'My House Was Targeted': Philadelphia Anti-Violence Activist Speaks Out After Home Firebombed
Kaylin, or as his family and friends called him, KJ, touched so many lives but there was one person’s life he changed forever.
Red and black balloons flew high as the community chanted “forever KJ.”
“I taught him everything,” mother Emily Johnson said.
Johnson, barely holding herself together, said becoming KJ’s mother was the best decision she ever made.
“Y’all don’t understand, I was hustling when I got pregnant with KJ. I gave it all up for KJ,” she said.
It paid off.
“My whole day has consisted of basketball practice and football practice. I’m a soccer mom,” Johnson said.
Kj was a Boys Latin Warrior. Sports kept him out of the streets.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming?
“I say basketball but his love was really with football,” Tysir Hicks said.
“He played every sport you could think of. He was good at all of them. He’s the definition of a freak athlete,” Rasheam Owens said.
“It’s a good feeling knowing he’s up in heaven watching over me now. I go to do everything I can for him,” Tenaj Walker said.
Walker spoke with KJ just days before he was murdered. KJ was one of two people killed in a triple shooting last Wednesday on North 56th Street. His teammate and friend survived.
Now, his mother must live on without her only son.
“What am I supposed to do now? What am I supposed to do when they close the casket?” Johnson said.
KJ’s funeral is set for Thursday.
CBS3’s Wakisha Bailey reports.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Native Will Smith Announces Book Tour Scheduled To Start In November
For a list of gun violence resources in Philadelphia, click here.