YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Tuesday evening was filled with tears, hugs and grief as friends, family and the community gathered at Homestead Park. It’s where 16-year-old Isaiah Walker was killed less than two weeks ago.
Songs filled the air as loved ones embraced each other and held on to each other with tears falling.
Isaiah’s aunt spoke at Tuesday’s memorial and said his death was a result of bullying.
“He was bullied and it ended up in gunfire, and it ended up in death,” said Lydia Walker, Isaiah’s aunt.
She recounted his final moments.
“My nephew ran home shot, yes he did. He ran home. When his brother ran to him, his last words were, ‘What you doing? Turn around.’ Even as he was dying he was aware that ‘there’s a problem over there, come with me,'” she said.
Isaiah’s father also spoke. He said he reported what was going on, but nothing was done.
“Do something about these little kids that’s been bullying my son for the last five years, and I told y’all. Since the first incident when he got jumped right here in this park, I called y’all. Now he got killed right here in this park, so who’s fault is it?” said Marvin Walker, Isaiah’s dad.
Walker said over the years, he’s done all the things parents are told they should do to guide and protect their kids in the city. Still, his son’s life ended in tragedy.
“I called my councilmen, I called my mayor, I called the police. I put my kids in programs,” he said.
One teen spoke saying she’s scared to even go to the park.
“Seconds are scary to me now, ’cause I know that within a blink I can be gone. Within a blink he was gone, we just got done talking. It hurts more to hear how he was at the park, and it kills me to see how close the park was to home,” Isaiah’s friend said.
Even through the rain, more and more people kept showing up.
The strength and unity Isaiah’s family had with each other provided a bit of comfort for all those who are hurting.