Community members mourn loss of teen to gun violence

NOW: Community members mourn loss of teen to gun violence

NILES, Mich.--- Donned in tie dye with candles in hand community members gathered Thursday to remember the life of fourteen-year-old Gavin Blakenship.

“I was shocked because I woke up that morning I had so many texts and phone calls, so it was like almost reliving our situation over again," said Tiara Williams, Founder for Tattoo the World.

Williams' brother also died in a shooting. The Niles resident founded the non-profit Tattoo the World to help families like Gavin's deal with the unexpected loss of a loved one due to gun violence.

She’s been in contact with the Blankenship family, as they learn to cope.

“It’s a big thing going on all over the world, and I feel like people don’t have the love and compassion as they used to. So, when it comes to these things these people that are doing the shootings something’s wrong here," said Williams.

Gavin’s family tells ABC57 they aren’t ready to talk publicly about the shooting, but they’re grateful to see such a large turnout to support their family.

There will be a celebration of life event honoring Gavin and other community members who died to gun violence this Sunday from 4-8 pm at Cass Street Park.

You can donate to a GoFundMe that's started to help Gavin's family with funeral costs here.

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