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Vigil held for 12-year-old boy killed in shooting near Atlantic Station as family mourns loss

On Sunday, those close to Zyion Charles gathered together to remember their beloved family member and friend after his tragic death.

ATLANTA — A somber mood and a sense of grief filled an Atlanta parking lot Sunday evening as family, friends, and the community came to terms with a devastating loss.

A 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed during a chaotic scene near Atlantic Station Saturday night was identified by his family. On Sunday, the family of Zyion Charles gathered together to remember their beloved family member and friend after his tragic death.

RELATED: 12-year-old killed, 5 teens injured in shooting near Atlantic Station, Atlanta mayor says

Dinecia Charles is Zyion's aunt and helped to organize the vigil. She wanted to show her sister the community cares about her loss.

“Our hearts are hurting, and it’s heavy," Dinecia said, fighting back tears.

When asked to describe what her nephew was like, Dinecia said that he was respectful and kind. A major hole will be left in the hearts of all that Zyion leaves behind, as his twin sister and four younger siblings are now coming to terms with him never coming home.

RELATED: 12-year-old boy killed during shooting near Atlantic Station identified

Zyrhia Charles is Zyion's twin sister and remembers him as full of life and love.

“Even if you were in your bad moment, he would always make you laugh no matter what you were sad about or mad or disappointed about," Zyrhia said.

Zyion lost his life after being shot outside Atlantic Station while hanging out with friends.

“Zyion was a bystander, just a child wanting to have fun with other kids. He was not the target. He did not hurt anyone," Dinecia said. 

As balloons flew off into the night sky, accompanied by the somber singing of one of the vigil members, Zyion's aunt mourned over the fact that those who loved him most will never be able to see him again.

Credit: WXIA
Candlelight honored Zyion Charles' life and legacy at a vigil attended by family and friends.

“He was loved," Dinecia said. "He was somebody’s son, somebody’s brother, somebody’s nephew, somebody’s cousin, somebody’s grandson.”

His family said they are taking his loss day-by-day and they are beginning to make plans for his funeral.

“People can help first of all by just praying for us," Dinecia said. Prayer is the number one thing we need right now."

A member at KIPP Metro Atlanta School, Zyion's life and legacy were also remembered by teachers and fellow students who had tears in their eyes as they stood in disbelief that the 12-year-old they knew was gone.


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