OAK PARK, Ill. (WLS) --Hundreds of people gathered to honor and remember Elijah Sims who was shot and killed in Chicago's Austin neighborhood shortly before his 17th birthday.
The gathering in Scoville Park was powerful and poignant, filled with people black, white, city and suburban, some who knew Sims and many others who didn't. They were united by grief and a searing sense of loss.
"He was special. He was special. He was one of those kids who had a shining light to him," said Anthony Clark, Sims' teacher.
Wednesday would have been Sims' 17th birthday, but instead loved ones are now planning his funeral. The Oak Park and River Forest High School senior was shot in the head Monday night while hanging out with friends in the city's Austin neighborhood where he once lived.
Police said the bullet that killed Sims was meant for someone else.
"I felt his last heartbeat. I felt my baby's last heartbeat because somebody wanted to get a gun and shoot!" said Sharita Galloway, Sims' mother.
"I see it every day, but I never thought my grandson. I see it every day. It's too much," said Cynthia Searcy, his grandmother.
Amidst the tears and tributes there was an appeal for information; whoever killed Sims is still on the street.
"You want to stay quiet, and I take this directly to the shooter: your day is coming," said community activist and crisis responder Andrew Holmes.
During the vigil, not far from where Sims was shot and killed, two 14-year-old boys were shot while standing in the 1000-block of North Menard Street. One boy was taken to Stroger Hospital in stable condition with a gunshot wound to his leg. The second boy was taken to Loyola Medical Center in stable condition with a gunshot wound to his shoulder and buttocks. Police are investigating and say the shots may have been fired from a passing vehicle.
August was the deadliest month Chicago has seen in 20 years.