Mishawaka Community gathers to remember 18-year-old shooting victim
"He was the leader of the group," said Martin Espinosa who grew up with Vinny. "We actually followed everything he'd done. He made us think that we were actually going to be something in life."
Saturday night's vigil, organized by Vinny's friend Chelsea Vanator who said Vinny was "like a brother" to her, featured a makeshift memorial for Vinny, a balloon release and a chance for people to come together to remember the kind of person Vinny was.
"It means the world to me," Vinny's father, William Trozzy, said. "I had no idea that he knew so many people or that so many people cared. I knew that anybody my son knew loved him, but you just don't know how many people truly care about him until you see something like this."
Vinny left behind a two-month-old daughter for whom his friends said he would do anything.
"Vinny was a great, loving soul," said Makenzie Reed, who's been a longtime friend of Vinny's sister. "He did everything for his daughter. his daughter is now two months old. She's going to have her first Christmas without her father."
Saturday night was both a time to remember Vinny and denounce the kind of violence that ultimately took his life.
"No street justice," Vinny's father said. "Just let the detectives and the police do what they've got to do. Let's do it the right way. I don't want anybody else getting hurt."
Others were still shocked that this violence happened in the first place.
"Why take a father from his child, a son from his father?" Reed said. Really there's no words for you (whomever is responsible)."
Police are still investigating this shooting and do not yet have a suspect in custody. If you know anything about what led to this shooting, you are urged to contact police.
Vinny was 18 years old.