JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A vigil was held Wednesday to remember a 16-year-old boy who was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Hilltop Village Apartments and call for justice in his death.
As friends and relatives gathered under a gazebo to pay their respects to Adrian Gainer Jr., his mother, Elizabeth Gainer, spoke out about the pain she and her family are enduring.
"I wouldn't wish this pain on any other mother or father," she said.
Relatives said Gainer, a student at Grand Park High School, got out of school Monday afternoon and went to visit a friend at the apartment complex, where he was shot to death. According to witnesses, he was being chased before he was fatally shot.
"We never dealt with anything like this before. It’s hard," said one of Gainer's great-aunts, who did not wish to give her name. "He was running for his life and he ran right into it."
No arrests have been made. The motive for the shooting is unclear and family members suggested it's uncertain whether Gainer was the intended target or a victim who was mistakenly identified as a target.
“Whether it was intended for him or if it was intended for someone else, they hurt the wrong baby," said Gainer's mother.
At the vigil, loved ones begged for the violence on Jacksonville's streets to stop.
"Put these guns the hell down and people need to start speaking the hell up," Elizabeth Gainer said.
The teen's shooting death happened right after a community advocacy group the Northside Coalition called for a weeklong "cease-fire" following several back-to-back shootings.
“It’s sad for our city that young men are just dying like this in the street," said AJ Jordan, outreach coordinator for MAD DADS (Men Against Destruction Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder).
Josephine Wims, another great-aunt of Gainer, said: "It’s just kids killing kids. They need to stop all this killing because they’re only hurting them and other parents. We shouldn’t have to do stuff like this right here. They need to put these guns down and pick a schoolbook up.”
In the meantime, Gainer's mother vows to stay on top of this case.
"If I got to call you all every day, if I got to call JSO every day, detectives every day -- I'm going to shake Duval County until they find my child's killers," she said. "I’m going to rock this city until they get justice for my baby. Until everybody involved is arrested, I’m going to shake Duval County.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).
Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.