Dozens gathered at a memorial Sunday night at Danny Mayfield Park to honor the life of 12-year-old Jajuan Latham, who police say was shot and killed in a gang-related shooting the day before.
Latham is a cousin to Zaevion Dobson, who died shielding his friends from gunfire in another gang-related shooting.
As the sun set on the park, silence and stillness filled the air. More than a hundred people stood, all united by one common thread: an innocent life taken too soon.
"Because this is somebody's child, it hit me personally because it took me back to my own tragedy,” Pastor Mildred Westfield said.
Pastor Westfield preaches at the All Consuming Fire Christian Center. For her and two of her friends, Sunday night's memorial brought back a familiar pain: They each lost a child themselves.
"So that impacts me each time that I hear about a child, or a young man, or a young girl being taken way before their time,” she said.
It was a sentiment echoed by the dozens of others who came. Some did not know Jajuan personally; others arrived in custom-made shirts honoring his life, prepared to take a stand against gang violence.
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"That was what you heard all throughout the crowd,” Westfield said. “We know something needs to be done. We don't know exactly what... but something."
The memorial lasted for about an hour. Community members organized candles in the shape of Jajuan’s name.
Through the tears and embraces, many walked away with one resolve. "Never give up on the community. Never give up on the young people."
On Monday afternoon, Jajuan's classmates decorated his desk at Bearden Middle School in his memory.