Vigil held for gunned-down student

March 24, 2008 8:16:23 PM PDT
Scores of people gathered in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Monday night for a candlelight vigil for a student gunned down for no apparent reason last week. Twenty-year-old Francis Walker, Jr. was shot while parking his car Friday night.

Eyewitness News reporter Tim Fleischer has the story.

So far, no one has been arrested in the killing. But on Monday, their attention was on the memorial for a young man gunned down.

"I want my son back, but he's not coming back," the victim's mother, Michelle Walker said. "That was my first born."

The pain of losing her son is deep and unforgiving for Michelle Walker.

And Francis Scott Walker, Jr., a young man grabbing life with both arms, full of so much promise, died in his mother's arms.

"I should have not have held my son in a car..and watched him die," Michelle Walker said.

Scott, as he was called, was parking his car when gunfire suddenly exploded. His family was left to find him slumped in his car.

"I saw my son's last breath, right here on this street," Michelle Walker said. "And I don't want another mother to ever see that pain."

But as they lit candles and wrote touching remembrances at the evening vigil, they talk of a 20-year old in his first year of college, working hard to become an accountant.

"He found that path," uncle Carl Sullivan said. "He was going in the right direction, and he was a good person."

His sister, his cousins and friends are holding on to to one another for strength. They remember a young man in whom they saw a great deal of hope.

And from his grandmother, Jessica Walker and others, there is a cry for justice.

"I'm just asking for us to stay together, and we're going to fight this," she said. "I mean it."

His mother, whose heart and voice cry out in pain, is pleading for an end to the killing of their young men.

"His death will not be forgotten, and it will not be in vain," she said.

The hope now is that someone will give police information that leads to the killer. A $5,000 reward has been offered.