RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A prayer vigil was held Sunday for 15-year-old Jaywan Riley, a Richmond student who was shot and killed on Afton Street on Thursday.
Family and friends gathered on Bethel Street Sunday afternoon to honor his life by wearing his favorite color, red, and bringing balloons to release in his memory.
Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith also attended the vigil and offered his condolences to his family.
Brenda Broadnax, Jaywan’s great aunt, says she will miss the love he shared with the community.
“He was amazing,” she said. “He was an awesome kid and fun, loving.”
During a press conference on Saturday night, Toneca Riley, Jaywan Riley’s mother, described the night her son was shot on Afton Street. When officers arrived, they rushed the teen to the hospital, where he later died.
Toneca Riley says her son was shot while protecting his girlfriend.
“I lost my first love, my first born, my best friend,” she said. “I’m honestly lost. I’m hurt, but I have to be strong for him. I have to.”
Riley says her son was a freshman at George Wythe High School who enjoyed music and sports. Jaywan was the oldest of his siblings, and his mother says he was a hero and a protector.
“He loved his siblings. He loved his animals, and most of all, he was a loving person,” she said.
Jaywan’s mother is also pleading for the community to speak out to bring justice to her son.
“This violence has to stop. And we need to put a stop on it now,” she said. “Parents need start to being parents and raising their kids the right way, because we don’t need to be losing anymore kids. My son is a victim.”
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