MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The life of a 17-year-old boy was remembered on Friday night.
Cairi McNear was shot and killed earlier this month by a 15-year-old boy. Now, the victim’s family is calling for an end to gun violence.
Dozens of family and friends gathered together at Hadley Park in Northwest Miami-Dade, sharing memories of Cairi. Those who knew him best say he was a bright light in this world and a life taken way too soon.
“People’s lives are so important you can’t get them back,” said Sharon Addison, Cairi’s aunt.
Blue and white balloons floated into the sky as family members honored Cairi.
“Cairi was the life of the party. He was full of life, full of energy and now, I understand why he was full of life it was because God knew his life would be taken so shortly,” said his mother, Aurianna McNear.
The 17-year-old was shot and killed by a 15-year-old boy just 9 days ago. Police said the two got into an argument and shortly after, gunfire erupted.
“We’ve got to do something about this gun violence, this gang violence. We need to pull our boys and our daughters together,” says McNear.
“Ya’ll just put the guns down and talk about it,” pleads McNear’s younger brother.
Miami-Dade Police said Tavarus Williams is charged with one count of 2nd-degree murder. He was arrested at a Fort Lauderdale apartment building and confessed to the crime.
“I’m just proud of him for turning and walking away. Although it cost him his life, at least he had listened to me about being a bigger person and walking away,” said his mother.
She said the loss of her son has left her broken. She’s urging parents to be more involved in their children’s lives.
“Check their hearts, check their minds, check their pockets, and check their waistlines. Then put them in check, if need be,” she said.
McNear’s younger brother sharing this heartbreaking message, “I just want you all to take this as a lesson. Before you do something think about it twice. No one’s life is worth it.”
The McNear family said they’ll continue working to put an end to gun violence in their community in honor of Cairi.
Miami-Dade Police said it’s not yet known how William’s was able to get a gun.
The State Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case to see if he’ll be charged as an adult.