Prayer walk & vigil held for 6-year-old boy killed in Feb. shooting

Family and friends continue mourning the loss of a six-year-old boy who was shot and killed in Hattiesburg earlier this year.
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 11:47 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Family and friends continue mourning the loss of a six-year-old boy who was shot and killed in Hattiesburg earlier this year.

Several people gathered for a prayer walk and candlelight vigil in Hattiesburg this evening in honor of Ja’Kyrie Silas.

Ja’Kyrie was shot and killed in his home on Willis Avenue on this day exactly five months ago, on February 27.

“It’s hard for somebody to just stand up at the window, and I know whoever was at my window, they saw my baby,” said a family member. “But, (Ja’Kyrie) remembered one thing that I taught them - if you hear a shooting, I don’t care if it’s firecrackers or whatever, hit the floor. And my baby was crawling, trying to get back there to me.”

Ja’Kyrie’s family and friends wiped tears from their faces as they remembered that night.

“For a while, I wasn’t even going to step foot in that house,” a family member said. “Because if I came through the door, I saw my baby laying there.”

However, they’re standing firm in the fight for justice.

“Here, what we need more is communication,” said Pansy Cephus, Ja’Kyrie’s Aunt. “People in the neighborhood, you know something. You see something, say something. Because if I see it, I’m going to say something. We have to live in this neighborhood, and we do the best that we can here, and we’re just not going to just let stuff go here. We’re going to stand until things are fine.”

The Hattiesburg Police Department held candles and released balloons in Ja’Kyrie’s honor this evening with the family.

“It was a cold-hearted incident where someone did this,” said Peggy Sealy, Hattiesburg Police Chief. “This is a young child who had his whole future in front of him.”

No arrests have been made in the case. However, HPD is still looking for information about a blue car that was in the area that night.

“We know that someone knows, and we also know that you know your vehicle was involved in this incident with that blue car,” Sealy said.

HPD and the family continue pleading for information on the case.

“So, please step forward,” Sealy said. “Give us the information. We don’t need your name; we just need the information to solve this act.”

Hoping to finally, after almost half a year, let Ja’Kyrie rest in peace.

“It’s not going to get better until my baby is at peace, and right now, he’s not at peace,” a family member said.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Hattiesburg Police Department at 601-544-7900 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 601-582-STOP (7867).

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