ST. LOUIS – About 100 people gathered Thursday evening for a vigil for 10-year-old Eddie Hill IV, who was gunned down while sitting on his front porch.
“It’s really hard to deal with especially someone young,” said Kaprice Hill, the boy’s aunt.
Eddie’s mother, Racheld Kemp, said the pain her family feels is overwhelming.
“It can cause so much pain and suffering to their family and it’s unimaginable,” she said.
Police said Friday night Eddie was on the front porch with his father and three other adults. A dark blue SUV drove by and the person or persons opened fire with a high-powered firearm. Only Eddie was hit; he died later at the hospital.
Reverend Earl Nance Jr., pastor at Greater Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, said a prayer at the vigil.
“We need you now more than ever (Lord). Help us to protect our young people,” Nance said.
James Clark of Better Family Life led the ceremony and challenged everyone to get involved in the community.
“It’s not our fault that the conditions that we live under create this mentality, it’s not our fault but brothers and sisters, it’s our responsibility to change it,” he said.
People who loved Eddie—and there are many of them—gave emotional support to each other. Educators from Eddie’s school were on hand to praise the outstanding student.
“He was amazing. He was brilliant. He was smart. He was energetic,” said Rashida Chatman, Eddie’s teacher. “He’s going to be missed in our classroom. He was definitely a core piece at our school.”
The message Thursday night was clear: stop hating and start loving one another. Eddie’s uncle told the gathering, “We must embrace each other with love.”
Police said Eddie was the seventh young person under the age of 17 to be murdered in this city so far this year. Two of the victims were even younger – ages 2 and 3.