Family holds memorial for man killed by gunfire in Youngstown park last year

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – One year ago, First News covered the death of Brandon Wesley, who was caught in crossfire and murdered while playing basketball in Homestead Park.

One year later, his family still doesn’t know who his killer or killers are. Sunday, they held a memorial service in his honor.

Dependable, solid and reliable are how family and friends described Brandon Wesley.

“He was a good friend. He was caring. He was real reliable. You could trust him with anything. I told him all my secrets,” said his friend Jashaud Benson.

Wesley dreamed of becoming a chef and owning his own restaurant.

“He was my outstanding senior of the year, the year he graduated. I had to beg him to go to the ceremony. He was like, ‘No chef, I don’t want to go.’ And I’m like, ‘Brandon, listen, you have to. You’re my outstanding senior. You have to come,'” said his culinary arts teacher Tricia Goodnough.

Everyone who tried his food had a different favorite dish – friend Valar Blair loved his pepperoni rolls, his brother Braylin Smith’s favorite was Wesley’s alfredo, while his other brother’s was his pineapple bowl.

“He took a pineapple and cut it in half and he put like rice, chicken and vegetables all inside the bowl. It was so epic,” said his brother Robert Weaver.

He loved anime and basketball.

“We was in a competition growing up. Like we would go to the store and by a Dragon Ball-Z shirt and if I had the shirt, he wasn’t allowed to get it,” Weaver said.

But his dreams were snuffed when he was murdered.

“It hurts still. It got better than what it was because it took me some time to realize he was actually gone.” Blair said.

Wesley’s mom, Lynette Wesley, has made it her mission in her grief to try to stop gun violence.

“It is still hard for me every day. It’s a battle for me to get up every day. I live through the pain, every day. So I’m trying to find something positive to do… If I can help someone else or save another child, I think that would make me feel a little bit better,” Wesley said.

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