15-yr-old Davonte Washington. (Photo/GoFundMe)

Hundreds gathered at the Deanwood Metro Station parking lot in Northeast Washington, D.C., the evening of March 30 to pay tribute to Davonte Washington, 15, who was gunned down at the station on March 26 in what D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier called a “senseless act.” The massive crowd was packed with youth, but also with many adults and officials, and with police from the Metropolitan Police Department and Transit Department on standby.

According to a Washington Post report, Washington’s mother and two of his sisters saw the tragedy as they waited on the subway platform. Washington was on his way to get a haircut for Easter.

The suspect, later identified as Maurice Bellamy, 17, reportedly confronted the victim and the ensuing verbal confrontation ended in the shooting. When authorities responded to the site at about 3:57 p.m. they found Washington suffering from two gunshot wounds to the chest to which he later succumbed at a local hospital.

“He was really a nice person, he didn’t cause any trouble at all,” said Brianna Armstrong, 15, who was a classmate and close friend of Davonte.

“He always made jokes, and he had a smile on his face every day. He would call me ‘Goofy Bri’ because we had so much fun. He was nice, cool, and a comforting person,” she added as a tear rolled down her cheek.

Community organizer and activist Ronald Moten hosted the vigil and introduced those that spoke, including Davonte’s family members, ministers, Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Kevin Donahue, radio host Joe Clair, and Councilmember Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7).

Prayer was offered before and after the vigil.

“God, we ask that you put your loving arms around each and every family member and every person that is connected to Davonte; that you will lift us up as a people showing unity, showing solidarity for one another. God, this is not a show; it’s not entertainment, but coming to lift up a family that we will be a better people, and get rid of the violence that is in this city and the nation abroad,” said one pastor.

Davonte’s mother spoke briefly, saying in a shaky voice, “I want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting my baby.”

Councilmember Alexander hailed the bond that seemed to exist within the slain youth’s family.

“I’m just touched by the family, one thing I do know, and one thing all of us need to know is when I met the Washington family, I knew that the bond there was love,” she said. “And though his life has gone too soon, when you have love in the too short 15 years he was here that means the world.”

She added, “And to all of those young people out here, if you are hurting please do not feel like you are alone. Please don’t feel like there is no place to go or get help, because when you are hurting, you’re going to hurt someone else…. We have to realize what murder is. Taking your hurt out on others is like a disease.”

Candles were lit during the vigil and a makeshift memorial was made around a tree. Carnations were passed out to the crowd in observance of a Christian legend surrounding about Jesus Christ’ crucifixion. As Jesus’ mother, Mary, wept, carnations sprang up as a sign of her undying love for her son, according to the story, which was read by a teen at the vigil. White balloons were released as many joined hands in unity.

The suspect, a resident of Southeast Washington, was arrested and charged as an adult with second degree murder while armed for the killing of Washington, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. He was arrested March 28 and was arraigned the following day. His next court appearance is slated for April 22.

At the vigil, Moten said in order to address the violence in the city, the community needed to help its youth.

“After you leave here, do something for the community,” he said. “We have abandoned our children. We need to understand that when we come to these vigils, and when we come back to our communities and we don’t do nothing, that’s called insanity. The same thing over and over again expecting a different result. So how many people are willing to do something when we leave here?