BUFFALO, NY - It is impossible to make sense of a 13-year-old's death.
But as he addressed a crowd at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, Quadir Lateef of The Street Council wanted to remind people there is a reason for everything.
"God is good," Lateef said. "He works in mysterious ways."
Lateef's message at this vigil was simple: stop the violence. In this case, the community gathered on Sunday night to remember Lanasha Rollerson, the teenage girl who loved basketball and had her life cut short due to another act of violence. The crowd was large. It was passionate. And it came together in an attempt to do exactly what Lateef was talking about: put an end to the senseless murders on these city streets.
"As a family, we are going to bring every effort to bring peace to this community," said Kareema Morris, the victim's aunt. "We will not tolerate the evilness."
The vigil, marked by candlelights throughout the crowd, drew hundreds of people, including family members, close friends and members of anti-violence groups.
Police have arrested 21-year-old Darshawn Morris (no relation to the victim's aunt) in connection to the death. Bail was set for $1 million.
"If you don't correct a cancer, it will infect you," Lateef told the crowd. "If we don't stand firm in our community, no one will."
On Sunday, they were standing with Lanasha's family.
"I have had so many people come up to me and tell me about my baby," Kareema Morris said. "It feels so warm to be sharing that with everybody.