Friends, family honor hit-and-run victim

2 weeks since teen was hit, killed

Published On: Jan 24 2014 10:35:40 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 25 2014 12:22:36 AM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Family and friends of 19-year-old Christopher McDowell gathered to remember the teen Friday night.

McDowell was killed by a hit-and-run driver as he walked home from a store on St. Johns Bluff Road two weeks ago.

His family is trying to urge the person who hit and killed him to come forward.

"I have a great-grandson who is only 3 years old. He calls me 'Pop Pop.' He says, 'Pop Pop, I miss Christopher,' a little 3-year-old boy," said McDowell's uncle, George Gillis.

Friends and family packed inside the AB Coleman mortuary on Moncrief Road on Friday night. Dozens of people came to honor and remember McDowell.

"I had to keep his brother home from school for an entire week because it was just hard for him. He just really had a hard time," said Gillis.

Gillis told Channel 4 that since the tragedy, he's had the chance to meet other families still waiting for answers. Many deadly hit-and-run cases from the last year alone remain unsolved.

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"It's becoming an epidemic, whereas people just hitting people with their cars or vehicles and just driving away like nothing happened, and it's wrong," said Gillis.

McDowell will be laid to rest Saturday afternoon. His family told Channel 4 they believe the person responsible for his death will come forward and do the right thing.

"I don't know what they're thinking about. If they want to get their own lawyer or see a lawyer before they come forward, that's fine, but still come forward. Admit that what you did was wrong," said Gillis.