Family, friends gather at Hartford YMCA to remember teen killed - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Family, friends gather at Hartford YMCA to remember teen killed

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A vigil was held on Sunday in memory of a teen who was shot and killed Friday night. (WFSB/family photo) A vigil was held on Sunday in memory of a teen who was shot and killed Friday night. (WFSB/family photo)

Grief counselors were on hand Monday for classmates and teachers after a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed in Hartford on Friday night. 

The counselors come after Keon Huff Jr. was shot in the head while he was inside a home on Garden Street around 9:30 p.m. 

No arrests have been made at this time, but police are investigating the deadly shooting. Police said they are still working multiple leads to try and solve Keon's murder.  

Keon was enrolled at the Journalism and Media Academy in Hartford from late September through early February. Grief counselors were at Journalism and Media Academy on Monday to support those affected by the shooting. 

A service was held for Huff Jr. at the YMCA on Monday at 4 p.m. Keon's grandmother Daisy Moret hugged her friends as the event started and friends and family said he was caught between two worlds.  

She spoke with him just a few hours before he died.

"I hugged him so tight and I told him do the right thing when no one is looking and respect so you get respected back. And if somebody gives you a hard time say God bless you and walk away," Moret said.

She said his death haunts her.

“I can't sleep. All the time I close my eyes I just see my grandson lying on the ground, with a shot to the head,” Moret said.

Keon was kind and loving--but was also drawn to the streets and he had been in trouble before in his short life. Keon's friend Aexander Thomas, who works at the YMCA, said he is sick of seeing so many young people getting caught in the cycle of violence and watching so many others forced to pick up the pieces.

"The hardest part is seeing some of his friends cry and then the next hardest part is seeing some of his friends not cry," Thomas said. "The ones that are used to it and who have come around to this part of life at a young age."   

On Monday, Moret tried to find comfort by exchanging hugs and stories about Keon with other people who loved him at a vigil at the Wilson-Gray YMCA. She said it’s a small step toward closure.

“He was a very sweet kid he touched a lot of people's lives and I didn't know that,” Moret said.

She admits her grandson had gotten into trouble before, but his life wasn’t easy.

He grew up in multiple homes and the Department of Children and Families was involved with the boy's family.

“He was a good kid regardless. He had problems but all kids have problems. He just tried to do the right thing,” she said.

On Sunday afternoon, hundreds of people gathered on Garden Street where a vigil was held in memory of Huff Jr. Folks who knew Huff Jr. and those who never met him told Eyewitness News the cycle of violence within in the City of Hartford must stop. 

"We are here today because our community has been shaken to the core," said organizer of Mothers United Against Violence, the organization that held the vigil, Reverend Henry Brown told the crowd on Sunday. "We are here because we lost a baby."

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, the police chief and other community organizers attended the vigil on Sunday. 

Keon had had a difficult life and had bounced around between homes at times. The Department of Children and Families had also been involved with the family and the agency is reviewing Keon's case.  

"The loss of life of the youth in Hartford is a terrible tragedy that shakes the family but also the entire community. We are currently reviewing our involvement with the boy and the boy's family. The tragic death of the boy is a reminder that we are all responsible for our children, and we must act together to ensure their safety and well-being in the communities where we live," DCF said in a statement on Monday. 

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses. To donate, click here

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