COLUMBIA — A circle of candlelight surrounded Swanetta Marshall as she walked around the park where her son, Tre'Veon Marshall, 17, was shot and killed Sunday night.
More than 300 neighbors, family and friends of Tre'Veon Marshall held candles and formed a circle during a vigil in honor of the fatally shot teenager Tuesday night at McKee Park in northeast Columbia.
"This morning, I was lying in his room," Swanetta Marshall said. "He ain't walking through that door no more."
The Rev. James Gray led a prayer in honor of Tre'Veon Marshall in the park. Gray pledged $500 to help the family with the funeral costs, which was matched by Monica Miller, a family friend.
Gray said he hopes to raise about $6,000 from the community to cover the costs. There was a donation box for people in attendance to donate money, and Gray said additional donations could be sent directly to Millard Family Funeral Home to help pay for a burial planned for Saturday.
Gray also said he was going to work with the neighborhood to set up a scholarship in Tre'Veon Marshall's name.
"We need a scholarship for our young men to take them to college, to show them there's something better out there," he said.
White candles, juice, ice and snacks were donated by the Walmart on Grindstone Parkway. Water and ice were donated by Gerbes on Nifong Boulevard for people at the vigil.
Second Ward Councilman Michael Trapp and Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala, who represents the area, attended the vigil. Skala said more needs to be done about prevention and public safety is one of the most important issues City Council faces.
"What the police is really good at is apprehension," he said. "We need to get more on the prevention side."
Columbia Police Department officers Blake Ross and Eric Wiegman, who patrol the area, said they were there to pay their respects and make sure everyone at the event was safe. Ross said the family has been cooperative with the investigation.
"I told the officers not to sweep this black-on-black crime under the rug," Swanetta Marshall said. “I don’t want no mama to get the phone call I got. My knees gave out."
Tre'Veon Marshall was going to turn 18 on July 31.
"My biggest fear as a single mother was raising my son to be a man," Swanetta Marshall said. "He was going to be a man on the 31st, but he didn't make it."
Erin Monroe, Tre'Veon Marshall's girlfriend of four years, said they grew up together since middle school and that she is a part of his family.
"Just because he's gone, doesn't mean I'm leaving the family," she said.
Tre'Veon Marshall was taken to the hospital Sunday night and pronounced dead at 12:31 a.m. Monday, according to a news release from the Columbia Police Department. As of Tuesday night, police had not released suspect information in relation to Marshall's death, and the investigation was ongoing.
Supervising editor Zachary Matson.