DECATUR, Ala. – Martin Street and East Acres neighborhood filled with people Thursday night as the community came together to heal after losing one of their own.
16-year-old Amari Deloney was shot just after 1:00am on the 4th of July. After going to Decatur Morgan, Deloney was transferred to UAB where he later died.
“He had a good spirit. He kept a smile on his face. Never was sad, even through his illness,” said Christy Matthews, Deloney’s Aunt.
Deloney was born with holes in his kidney’s. He underwent two transplants from his family, only to lose his life to gun violence.
“Put the guns down! We coming together now as a community and as love. As you can see, it doesn’t matter what color you are. We are all here,” said Matthews.
“It makes me feel really good they are here. I don’t think he knew how much he was loved,” said Deloris Matthews, Deloney’s Grandmother.
The vigil wasn’t just a time to mourn. Many speakers urged kids to use this moment to change their lives around.
“To those of ya’ll who want to act tough in the street and act grown, it’s not worth it at the end of the day,” said one man.
“Guns down, God up!” said another man.
Other speakers urged parents to step up and be more involved in their children’s lives.
Shortly after the vigil, Decatur Police announced an arrest in relation to the murder of Amari Deloney.