CHARLOTTE — A balloon release and candlelight vigil were held for 19-year-old Zion Wilder, a Statesville student who was shot and killed at his home on Wednesday.
Wilder was killed on Goldsboro Avenue in Statesville, resulting in remote learning for students at Northview Academy and Statesville High School on Thursday. He was only two months away from graduating, according to his aunt.
The vigil was held on 7th Street in Charlotte and began at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Channel 9′s Glenn Counts went to the vigil, where Wilder’s friends and family gathered to support each other during this difficult time.
One of those in attendance was Tia Howell. Howell said her 8-year-old daughter Ah’Miyahh Howell was killed in a drive-by shooting in 2021 and her advice was to not give in to hate.
“I hated everybody at first. I hated anybody in the world anybody breathing breath in their body, hated them. Nothing good came to me with that hate. I was upset. I was mad. I was bitter. I didn’t want to be in this world no longer living with breath in my body,” Howell said.
Counts also spoke with Wilder’s grandmother, Lisa Wilder, who said everyone is trying to make sense of something that doesn’t make any sense at all.
“This is a celebration of Zion’s life because it was ended way too short,” Wilder told Counts. “He did not deserve what happened to him, they’re trying to make sense of what doesn’t make sense.”
Members of the family say they do have a ray of hope. Police have arrested two people in connection with the shooting, 25-year-old Dakota Duke and 24-year-old Tevin Seymore, and have identified one other suspect.
“It means a lot, considering the status quo of Statesville with the murders and stuff. For them to act the quickly as they did, I’m at a loss for words,” Wilder told Channel 9.
(WATCH BELOW: Vigil to be held Saturday for mother who was hit, killed in southwest Charlotte)
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