RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Hundreds of people from the Hillside Court community and beyond in addition to officers with the Richmond Police Department, gathered outside the home of 3-year-old Shamar Hill Junior, the same area where the toddler was killed while playing outside his home a week prior.
During the vigil, the toddler’s family didn’t say many words, but the 3-year-olds father Shamar Hill thanked the crowd for supporting them through this difficult time.
“Shamar was my hero! My hero! My hero!” yelled and emotional Hill.
Many people who chose to speak had loved ones who were killed by gun violence. Ellery Lundy with the non-profit Broken Men Foundation confided with the family about the loss of his nephew through violence a year ago. Lundy reached out to Hill telling him encouraging Hill to reach out to them for support. Ellery also addressed the crowd demanding that they report violent crimes when they see them happen to prevent future crimes from occurring.
“From this point forward I don’t care who you are, but if the situation happens to you as it has for this family then if you see something you must say something because that pain is real.”
Clovia Lawrence with ‘Project Give Back to Community,’ echoed the same sentiments during the vigil encouraging the crowd to be the catalyst for change in their own communities.
“I can’t say I know how it feels to lose your child, but I’m a mother too,” said Lawrence. "I can’t imagine what it’s like, but if something happened to my child -- if you want the madness to stop, then if somebody saw something I want you to tell it,”
The community was asked to bring red, green and blue balloons to the vigil which were the favorite colors of Shamar who was known affectionately by his family as Simba. Many of the balloons were decorated with the toddler’s favorite superheroes and T.V. shows. Some even came dressed as the heroes to support the other children during the vigil.
During the vigil, a local pastor called for the Hillside court playground to named after the toddler, and for the playground to be renovated and fenced off so that children can have a safe place to play away from the streets. The vigil ended with a balloon release in the 3-year-old’s memory. Money was also collected for the family to assist with funeral costs.
Richmond police said they have made an arrest in a carjacking that is possibly related to the toddler’s murder. Sunday, officers in First Precinct located the suspect, Antonio L. Harris, 21, of the 1300 block of Evergreen Avenue, and arrested him. He has been charged with carjacking and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
This is considered a death investigation, and anyone with information about this shooting is asked to contact Major Crimes Detective J. Fultz at (804) 646-3929 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.
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