BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Members of the Gus Young community gathered Friday evening to honor the life of a 14-year-old boy killed last Friday.
More than 40 individuals came together to remember eighth grader Desmond Bryant, Jr. who was shot to death while sitting in the car of a family friend.
Family and friends remembered Bryant as a creative young man who enjoyed drawing and riding his bike.
At the vigil, individuals said prayers before releasing the balloons in the air. Others lit candles and created a makeshift memorial.
Local leaders said they want the boy's death to serve as a catalyst for change in the community.
"Hopefully we'll continue to bring the community together to get the violence down. It's just not right under any circumstance," said Hillar Moore, District Attorney for East Baton Rouge.
"I believe the young people, they come out here and they see what's really going on. Maybe they may realize, there's a problem, I need to change my attitude, I need to change the friends I'm hanging with," said Keon Preston, President of the organization Stop the Violence of Baton Rouge.
On Monday, police charged Carson Thomas, 20, with first-degree murder in connection to the shooting death. Police said the shooting happened just after 10 p.m. last Friday in the 1800 block of North 17th Street.
According to police, the suspect opened fire on a vehicle hitting two people. Officers met up with the victims in the 3400 block of Choctaw Drive shortly after the shooting.
Bryant was a passenger in the car and suffered gunshot wounds to the chest and head. He was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. He died Sunday night around 8 p.m. from his injuries.
The driver, a 20-year-old male, suffered minor injuries in the shooting.
Police say the motive is still unknown and the shooting remains under investigation.