LIMA — More than 100 people gathered in the 300 block of South Scott Street Saturday night for a candlelight vigil to remember Mekhi “Khi” Williams, the 16-year-old Lima Senior High School student shot and killed at that location Wednesday night just after 7:30 p.m.
Lima police have released very little information on the shooting and haven’t even officially identified the victim.
Williams’ mother, Joeann Brown says she’s heard police are considering it a case of self-defense and the person who shot Williams was released after questioning.
“You know what, justice will prevail and my baby will be able to rest peacefully,” Brown said.
During the vigil, friends and family of Williams blocked the street, lit candles, sent Chinese lanterns into the air, set off fireworks and cried and hugged each other.
James Allen III was a close family friend and is no stranger to what can happen when guns are involved.
“Mekhi was a young man killed unjustly. He lost his life to gun violence. Actually, I lost a son to gun violence back in 2014 so I came here to show respect to his family and to be there for support,” Allen said.
James Shorter was a cousin of Williams and broke down when speaking about the loss.
“Everybody loved him. I mean, the whole city loved him,” Shorter said.
Williams had already planned for his future until that fateful night cut his life short.
“He was in 11th grade. His plans were to go into a nursing home and be a CNA and go to the Air Force. That was his dream,” Brown said.
Brown is hoping people remember her son in a positive way.
“Let’s remember Khi for who he was and the reason why we’re here and showing so much love for him. Let’s remember Mekhi Alexander Williams for being the outstanding person he was. I thank all these people, I thank every last one. I thank Lima Senior High School. I thank all the teachers. I thank all of the students. I love you guys,” Brown said.
Jermaine Lawrence with New Hope Missionary Baptist Church urged young people to turn away from gun violence.
“Only God can do the healing that’s necessary, that needs to be done in this community. It’s tragic, but then again only God can do the healing. It takes a lot of prayer, togetherness. Most importantly, putting the differences aside, no drama, whatever the case may be,” Lawrence said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.