BAKER, LA (WAFB) - A community gathered Saturday night on Azalea Avenue in Baker to remember the life of a young man killed almost two weeks ago following an ongoing dispute over a birthday party flyer.
The night was filled with emotion and the tears could not stop falling as family and friends honored the life of 20-year-old Richard "Ra-Ra" Phillips.
As tearful tributes filled the air, the emotion is still raw from what happened. Almost everyone in attendance held candles that many believe burned as brightly as the light Phillips brought into his loved ones lives.
"He was a good child you know but in the last year and a half he had some problems but he got some of them resolved," his mother Elizabeth Phillips said.
Phillips was gunned down last week outside a convenience store on Baker Boulevard allegedly following a brief dispute over a birthday party flyer.
Baker Police arrested three men; Charmaine Wilson, Walter Williams and MacArthur Johnson in connection with the shooting. Investigators believe Johnson fired the fatal shot, killing Phillips. Police say surveillance video at the business revealed Phillips was unarmed.
"This situation could have been resolved and it should have been resolved because it was so petty," said Elizabeth. "It just puts a hole in my heart and I'm just hoping that justice will be served."
While the vigil will not bring back her son, Elizabeth hopes this senseless tragedy will resonate with the community and prevent more acts of violence.
"I would just like kids to try to resolve problems without the gun violence. I think it's so senseless and it's so painful," she added.
Even with the arrest, police are asking anyone with additional information on the shooting to call Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.