Shooting victim remembered at vigil

By Beau Ebenezer

June 25, 2013 Updated Jun 26, 2013 at 11:17 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Peoria's homicide count rose to six Monday afternoon, after 21-year-old, Eric Brown Jr. was shot while sitting outside of 1830 West Kettelle Street in Peoria.

"They said the shooter came up the side of the house here," said the victim's father, Eric Brown Sr. "As he reached the sidewalk he just opened fire on the group of kids here. The first shot rang out, and they all dispersed in different directions running."

Tuesday night, in honor of Brown, family and friends gathered around the house, holding candles and praying for the man they called Greedy.

Brown's best friend, Denzell Gayton, experienced the shooting first-hand, and was the one who drove Brown to the hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased.

"I just got him to the hospital," said Gayton. "I knew we couldn't wait for the ambulance, so I just had to get him to the hospital. He kept saying please. I got him there as quickly as I could."

At the vigil, family members remembered Brown, as they preached the importance of peace and anti-violence.

"I hope this can be a positive message. I hope we can put into that. It's just going too far. There's been a lot of killing in a year. It hasn't even been 6 months yet, so hopefully it can."

Brown's father said he will move on by remembering the many good times he had with his son.

"The fondest memory that sticks out to me is that, I love you Dad and that kiss and hug. I'm going to miss that."

The Brown family will be holding a benefit dinner for Brown's funeral at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Peoria around 3 pm.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.