Vigil held for slain 7-year-old Durham boy

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Family, friends and even strangers gathered Thursday night to hold a vigil where 7-year-old Kamari died.

As the crowd released their balloons into Durham's sun-setting sky, one woman whispered, "Catch one Kamari." They came here, on this spot where 7-year-old Kamari Munerlyn died, to light candles and seek comfort after the senseless shooting death of the first-grader.

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Kamari's grandmother served as the grieving family's spokesperson. The boy's mom, Felicia Parker, spent most of the vigil in tears. Parker was in the car last Sunday when gunshots were fired from another vehicle on Hillandale Road; one of the bullets struck Kamari. The chaos ended outside Tokyo Express restaurant at Carver and Guess roads; the same spot where family, friends and even strangers gathered Thursday night to hold a vigil where Kamari died.

"They told me (about the shooting), I didn't want to believe it," the boy's grandmother Lisa Gerald told the group.

On this night, Gerald was the family's rock. But afterward, she didn't mince words - she didn't want to be here.

"No amount of emotion that I have will ever bring him back to me, to any of us," Gerald said. "He's my only grandchild; my only."

There was no mention of 28-year-old Devon Fowler, so far the lone suspect arrested in Kamari's murder. Fowler told ABC11 from his Durham County jail cell that he had nothing to do with the crime.

What is certain, is that an innocent 7-year-old has become the 694th name sewn into the quilt that was unfurled on the grass at Kamari's vigil.

The quilt was started by the group, Durham Homicide and Victims of Violent Death, memorializing every homicide victim in the city since 1994.

Amid the tears here, there were hopes and prayers for no more names.

"I'm here to be in prayer and encourage people to make better decisions in life, said John Fitzpatrick of One Love Ministries Church. "And let's stop the violence."

While Fowler remains behind bars with no bond and the Durham police investigation continues with the possibility of additional arrests, Kamari's family went home Thursday evening to finalize funeral arrangements.

The service is scheduled for Monday.

Related Topics:
murdershootingdurham policechild killedvigildurham county newsgun violenceDurham
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