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Dozens gather on Oberlin Avenue in Buffalo to share memories of homicide victim

Friends and family called him "the boy"
Posted at 12:21 AM, Aug 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-03 01:13:58-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo's East Side community gathered Friday evening to remember Christopher Clarke. The 29 year old died from a gunshot wound in a homicide on Oberlin Avenue Tuesday night.

Friends and family described Clarke as a "light." They prayed and shared memories of "the boy." He was the youngest of his siblings, and the only boy in the family. Kimberly Clarke, his sister, said she wasn't surprised by how many people showed up because of the strong presence Clarke was to those who knew him.

"The boy made random calls and random visits to people, and we are finding out now that he maintained relationships with folks we forgot about years ago," she said. "People from kindergarten. He made friends anywhere."

It was a lesson her brother taught her, even after he was gone.

"I'm learning right now from my little brother in his death that I probably could do better in reaching out to friends, and with our other loved ones, and cousins, and uncles, and people who've just touched us along the way before it's too late," Clarke said.

The city announced on Thursday that shootings are at a nine year low. For some members of violence prevention groups, however this was their second vigil of the day. Groups like Buffalo Peacemakers and Buffalo SNUG came to mourn, and they also came with a message.

"We just get out on the front line everyday and try to stop the madness," said Billie Webster, the Program Manager at Buffalo SNUG. "But we need a community. Without the community ain't nothing gunna happen. We have to get together and understand that nobody can come into out community and start blasting off, and we see it and we just stand around."

The evening concluded with balloons released in Clarke's memory.

According to Buffalo Police there is no new information regarding the homicide. Friends and family at the vigil urged anyone with information to speak out.