BOSTON (CBS) – A vigil was held Thursday for the teen murdered in Dorchester. Teenagers crowded around balloons and candles where a day earlier 17-year old Alissa King was shot and killed in the street.
In the middle of them stood King’s aunt, Jessica Lewis, preaching a message.
“Do something with your life,” Lewis said. “All this fighting and arguing and beefing with one another, it’s not worth losing your life.”
In this time of coronavirus, the emotion was particularly overwhelming.
“These communities are already hit hard by Covid-19, and so violence in addition to that is unbelievable,” said Pastor Ricky Grant of 12th Baptist Church.
Volunteers passed out masks, gloves and hand sanitizer.
“It’s tough in this atmosphere to grieve because one you’re thinking of your proximity to people,” said Grant.
The crowd grew remembering King who was gunned Wednesday afternoon at the corner of Speedwell and Topliff Streets in Dorchester.
“She wasn’t a street kid. She wasn’t into any trouble. She didn’t carry herself like that. She loved basketball,” said Lewis.
Police quickly arrested a suspect, Anthony Kelley. King’s aunt says the two teens were friends, and has no idea why he would want to shoot her.
“To him, his family, why? What was the purpose? What did he get out of that?” said Lewis. Lewis’ message was as much about the loss of her niece’s life as the loss of her accused shooter’s future.
As they released balloons into the sky in King’s memory, Lewis challenged the teens to do better.
“I appreciate them for coming, but I feel like if you guys love her you will do better,” said Lewis.
Anthony Kelley, who is 18 years old, was arraigned on several charges, including murder. He is held without bail.