The beating death of 7-Eleven victim, Jim Gifford, has outraged Syracuse. For a second time, the community is speaking out against the violence. YNN's Candace Hopkins reports.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Police say 18-year-old Romeo Williams attacked 70-year-old Jim Gifford, as he left the store on the morning of the September 21. The following day, hundreds of people gathered to pray for his recovery. Unfortunately, he died from his injuries.
On Sunday, community members gathered for a second time to put an end to the violence that stole Gifford's life.
"It was important for us, for one, let this community and his friends and family know that we are grieving with them, and for two, it's important for us to keep standing up in the communities, and keep letting the perpetrators, the one percent, of the perpetrators in this community know that we're not going to sit down and keep taking this", said Mothers Against Gun Violence's Helen Hudson.
The candlelight vigil featured prayers for the life lost, and discussions about how to save lives going forward. It allowed some of Gifford's closest friends and former co-workers to speak about the loss they are still struggling to understand.
"I think he would've been shocked to see how many people are here, how many people are writing into the different medias, how many people are just so taken aback by what happened to him, or to anybody, Jim would have never raised a fist I don't believe, he would have never pushed back, unbelievable that this kind of event happened to him", said Carol Mathews, a co-worker.
Other people brought their children to the vigil, including Syracuse resident Yolanda Odoms. She wants to help them understand the consequences a life of violence can lead to.
"I'm so happy that my son happened to be with me, I'm teaching him right from wrong now, at an early age, therefore he sees the situation and knows this is a situation he would not want to be in", said Odoms.
According to organizers, if more parents work to pass that message on, it can make all the difference for future generations in Syracuse.
A memorial service for Gifford will be held Monday at 1 p.m. at the Elmwood Presbyterian Church on South Avenue.