Family, friends gather to remember 13-year-old shooting victim

Matthew McGee
Vigil held for 13 year old murder victim
Vigil set for 13 year old

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Friends and family gathered at Gardner Park near 46th St. & Shadeland Ave. Wednesday night to remember a 13-year-old killed near Castleton Square Mall over the weekend.

They played basketball, the game McGee loved to play in one of the places he loved to play. But McGee was not with his friends on the basketball court Wednesday, instead, they were remembering him, four nights after his murder.

McGee was one of four people shot and killed in Indianapolis over the weekend in separate incidents.

At 13, he was the youngest of the victims.

It’s still not clear what happened leading up to shots being fired about 10:00 pm on September 9.

McGee was shot outside the Long John Silvers restaurant across from Castleton Square Mall. The nearby movie theatre in the mall was locked down afterward as a security measure.

Belzer Middle School has since made counselors available to students dealing with the shooting death of a classmate.

"He did ask, 'Mom, who murders a 13-year-old?'," said Monique Canon, the mother of one of McGee's friends. "I mean, I could not answer. It's just the way of the world. Looks like it's skipping down generations after generations."

"I do have a 13-year-old son myself," said Kellie Dresselhaus. "Trying to help him understand how he'll never see a friend that he went to school with again or it's hard for him to even understand how his parents won't see him again. Just realizing all of that. It's a process."

A painful one for teens just starting life - seeing life ended.

In a giant huddle on the basketball court at Gardner Park, a mother of one of the victim's many friends had a tough message, especially for the young men.

Stephanie Carpenter said, "Listen, you all. I'm a parent so I know how it feels to wonder and to watch. And to get phone calls. It's not a good phone call to get that your baby died."

And her desperate plea for peace.

"So this retaliation that I'm hearing needs to stop today. Because nobody wants to be sitting here a week from now for the same thing. We are tired of burying our black kids. We're tired. And especially your age. You were supposed to be burying us not us, burying you all. Amen," Carpenter said.

She also pleaded with McGee's friends for information.

"If you all know anything, stop living by this 'no snitching' rule," she said. "Speak, because it could be you or your brother or your sister. Speak."

On Wednesday, local anti-violence groups spoke out.

"As a parent when I heard about it - it did - it just kind of broke my heart,” said Rev. Charles Harrison of The Ten Point Coalition. “Now a 13-year-old getting shot and killed. Is that what's happening now in our society? In this city? It's just devastating."