PEORIA, Ill -- The family of Peoria's latest homicide victim is speaking out in hopes of putting an end to the gang violence that has plagued the city's South side, and they're asking for your help.
Loved ones of 25-year-old Brandon Thomas, shot and killed earlier this week, gathered in prayer and mourning Friday morning.
Relatives say Brandon was full of life, and loved his family and friends.
But the events the led to his death are something that weigh heavily on the family.
"I thought it was a dream, I still can't believe it, that was my first born, I just don't understand,I may not know why he got killed. I just want to know who did it," said Carla Thomas-Caldwell, Brandon's Mother.
And now family members are sending a strong message to the community to put an end to the violence.
"Parents talk to your kids about these gangs, all that is not where it's at, living life is where it's at and finding Jesus is where it's at. If you raise a child the right way and teach them where to go, they will never stray from it, so all of this starts at home," Said Carmen Thomas, Brandon's Aunt.
Police have not said if Brandon was affiliated with a gang. His mother says she's also not sure.
But Thomas-Caldwell says her son was still a human being and didn't deserve to have his life taken so soon.
Brandon's funeral is set for Tuesday.
Brandon's family is also asking for your help to help pay for his funeral. You can do so at any area CEFCU location or make checks payable to the TW Parks Funeral home in Peoria.