Vigil held for man shot inside Mishawaka bar
MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- Family, friends, and community members gathered to remember 28-year-old Avery Brown Monday evening.
Brown was shot and killed inside Bleachers Bar last week.
The bar is now working on adding new safety protocol in light of the tragedy and will re-open for the first time on Tuesday evening.
Brown's friends looked up to him as a big brother, someone who was always smiling, and someone who's legacy they know will live forever.
"Honestly man, I'm still in shock," said David Garner, one of Brown's best friends. "People need to start putting these guns away."
"I've known Avery, like I said, since I could walk," said Hayley Cashier, another one of Brown's best friends. "These pictures just kind of show his spirit just always smiling, just goofy," she said, referencing a collage of pictures showing Brown at Monday's vigil. "Avery, he'd light up a room when he walked in."
Cashier traveled all the way from Arizona to host the candlelight vigil to honor Brown.
"I just wanted people to have at least one chance to come back and honor him in a beautiful way because Avery was a beautiful person," said Cashier.
She, like many attending the vigil, have fond memories of times spent with Brown.
She says he was full of joy and had a beautiful spirit.
"Funny, he's a comedian, loving," said Cashier. "The people he hung around with were a lot like him."
Hundreds gathered Monday evening to celebrate Brown's life, including some employees that work at Bleachers.
Brown's loved ones spoke out in his honor, reminding everyone how he touched so many through his volunteer work.
"You could call him at 5 in the morning and be in all kinds of trouble, and he'd come to get you," said Garner.
Brown's death is a reminder of the tragic reality of gun violence across Michiana.
"Life is short, it can be short, it's unfortunate," said Cashier. "So, cherish every moment you have with loved ones [and] friends."
Family members say they are still working out the details of when Brown will have his proper burial.
Family and friends say the message at Monday's vigil was one of love.