Hundreds turn out to honor 16-year-old shooting victim

By: Barbara Harrington Email
By: Barbara Harrington Email

Elkhart, Ind. The rain didn't stop hundreds of people from gathering to remember the short life of a 16-year-old shooting victim Thursday night.

People packed the parking lot at Concord High School and lit candles in honor of Braxton Brahams.

Police say the teen was gunned down in the 200 block of E. Garfield Street in Elkhart Saturday.

16-year-old Jesus Macedo-Perez is charged with Braxton's murder and is being held in the Elkhart County Jail without bond.

Braxton's family is struggling to cope with the sudden loss, but says the community's support has given them comfort. During the vigil, several people shared memories of Braxton and his big, bright smile.

"He would always just be happy, smiling, always cracking jokes," said family member Shamisha Jackson. "Don't nobody deserve that, especially not Braxton. He had a whole life ahead of him. Can't have kids now, can't build a family."

Braxton's friends exchanged hugs and wrote messages to the teen's family before the vigil. Braxton's father says the outpouring of love from the community is beyond what he ever imagined.

Window decals are being sold to raise money for Braxton's burial and a benefit car wash is planned for July 6.

"Evidently, he was doing something right," Kenneth Braxton said. "Being a 16-year-old, you don't actually think they listen to what you say. They've got their own ideas of what things are. But, it seems people were overjoyed with him. And that makes me proud of him."

A viewing will be held at AGAPE Missionary Baptist Church in Elkhart at 9 a.m. Sunday. A celebration of life ceremony will follow.

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