CHICAGO (WLS) --Monday would have been Endia Martin's 15th birthday, and Sunday night family and friends gathered to honor her memory.
Endia Martin's parents say their daughter was looking forward to turning 15. She wanted to celebrate by having a party. So, Endia's family thought having the party without her would be a great way to keep her memory alive. Endia's parents say it is exactly what Endia would have wanted.
Balloons line the fence. Friends and family wore t-shirts with Endia's name. Many wore the 14-year-old's favorite color purple. At the neighborhood school playground, Endia's 15th birthday party went on without her.
Endia's parents knew it would be a tough and emotional day. The party was planned with Endia before she was killed. Her parents thought having it rather than cancelling the celebration would be the right thing to do.
"She was an outgoing person," said stepfather Kent Kennedy. "She loved to dance, listen to music, loved celebrations like this."
"That proves how big of a heart she had," said friend Demetrius Jones. "We all knew that's why everyone came out to support."
It's been almost a month since Endia was fatally shot in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. A 14-year-old girl is charged with Endia's murder. Police say the shooting was fueled by a fight over a boy that escalated on social media. The shooter's gun was provided by her uncle, Donnell Flora. He has also been charged with murder.
"This went from a dispute to an argument to a fist fight and with the help of adults, it took it to another level," Kennedy said. "This should have been stopped as soon as adults found out about it."
The fact that an adult contributed toward his daughter's murder is what really bothers Kennedy. He hopes if there is any good that comes out of Endia's death, it is the message that adults must do more.
"If adults would take time to get involved and say, 'put the guns down and go home,'" he said.
The adult charged in Endia's murder was paralyzed after being shot a few years ago. Donnell Flora took a bus to deliver a loaded gun to his 14-year-old niece just before she allegedly killed Endia Martin.
Endia's father says his daughter would be alive today had Flora told his niece to settle her dispute and go home rather than request a gun.