Family holds vigil for 19-year-old gunned down


PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Family and friends held a vigil to remember 19-year-old Makai Lewis, who was part of the class of 2021. His family said he had a bright future ahead of him.

Now, instead of planning for his future, his family is planning his funeral.

“I hope he’s in a better place now, and he was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Yasir Carthon, Lewis’s brother.

On Friday, friends and family gathered to remember Lewis, who police said was gunned down Wednesday inside a takeout restaurant at the corner of 37th and Wallace streets.

“We just loved him, and he loved us, and he loved life too,” said Vivienne Samuel, a cousin.

Police said just after 9 p.m., three men got out of a sedan and fired at least 19 shots at the 19-year-old standing inside. Police found him lying on the floor, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and torso.

“This was a kid just going to the store. Our kids can’t go to the store anymore like we have to protect our kids,” said Crystal Williams, an aunt.

The recent Roman Catholic High School graduate played football for the school. His family says you can see how well-loved he was by the number of people who turned out Friday.

“He’s looking over us right now as I’m talking, and as we’re all here gathered tonight, he never wanted to hurt anybody. He was always looking out for everybody,” said Jaelen Mcglone, a cousin.

That includes his 9-year-old brother, wearing a shirt with a snapshot of one of their many football memories.

“I loved him like as much as I could,” said Carthon.

The school issued a statement calling Makai “a gentle giant with a winning smile,” adding grief counseling is available to students.

Police are still looking for the gunmen responsible.

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