WASHINGTON, DC – Monday, two vigils were held for slain teen, Zaire Kelly, who was killed last Wednesday during an attempted robbery near 13th and Downing Street Northeast.
Students and teachers gathered at Thurgood Marshal Academy and family, and friends came together near the spot where 16-year-old Kelly’s life was cut short.
Kelly was walking home when his twin brother, Zion Kelly, texted him to warn him about someone attempting to rob people in the park.
Kelly was killed just a short time later, when he was shot by that would-be robber.
Kelly’s basketball teammate broke down during at tribute at the academy while telling the crowd about his first time dunking the ball, saying, “he finally dunked, and it was with two hands. I can barely dunk with two hands, and as soon as he did it, he was like, ‘Yeah boy, I told you I could dunk’.”
Kelly also ran track and was the captain of his football team.
Following the vigil at his high school, a candlelight vigil held in the area where Kelly lost his life.
Those who knew him, like Malik Basil, said, “He was real funny, always making everybody laugh. Everybody never really had a problem with him.”
“I just always knew him as a very uplifting person, he always had a smile on his face and I just felt like it was nice to come out here and support his family.”, said Erica Morris.
Perea Blackmon is former teacher of Kelly’s who said, “He was goal oriented, he was ready to go away to school. He had his heart set on going to FMU after he graduated. He was an outstanding athlete. He was an outstanding scholar. He was a great young man and we’re just all still in shock right now.”
Kelly will be laid to rest next week. Metropolitan Police say he used a pocket knife to defend himself and stabbed his attacker in the abdomen. The attacker died from his injuries.