ORLANDO, Fla. — The family of 16-year-old Denim Williams, who was found dead Wednesday in Parramore, is speaking out about its tragic loss and search for justice.
Williams’ mother said her son was often found on Beach Avenue, just a few blocks from Polk Street where he was killed.
Dozens attended a vigil for the slain teen at the same location Thursday night.
Felica Brown is mourning her son.
Brown said her first reaction to hearing about the shooting was, “Not my baby, and I jumped up and I went, and there he was."
Orlando police said they responded to the shooting near Polk Street in Parramore around noon, and when they arrived, they found Williams dead inside a car.
Brown, who lives less than 10 minutes away from the crime scene, said her son left home around 15 minutes before he was killed.
“My heart hurts so bad I can't even describe,” Brown said. “I haven't even broke down yet. I don't even know if I’m coming or going.” %
Brown spent Thursday remembering the day Williams was born, reflecting on four months ago when he was released after serving two years in a detention center.
It was then he started playing football, basketball and running track.
“He was a very good child,” Brown said.
Police have not released details of how Williams died, but investigators collected several bullet casings from the scene.
A candle vigil was held Thursday evening at a large oak tree on Beech Avenue, where Williams often hung out.
"I just miss him, and I wish this would have never happened," said Aniyah Wilburn, Williams’ cousin. "I just hope everybody just stops killing, because it's not worth it."
Community organizer Miles Mulrain said people in the neighborhood have been reeling since Williams was gunned down.
"People are mad. They're sad. They're angry," he said. "This wasn't supposed to happen. No one wants to plan for their child to be taken. And no one can actually prepare for that either."
© 2021 Cox Media Group