A teen's family is pleading for help to find his murderer, seeking justice for the innocent student, but they also want the violence to stop.
Those who knew Ramon Bradley gathered Wednesday evening to remember the 17-year-old found gunned down outside a Kansas City, KS, community center.
"My son is not here, and you all have to be his voice. You all have to talk for him. You all have to speak for him," Bradley's mother, Ramona Douglas, said.
The teen's mother pleaded for a change in the code of silence. Much of Wednesday night's message was aimed at the young people in the audience, a perspective on cowardice versus courage.
"I am a product of the 60s, the civil rights movement. People stood out and gave their lives for us to have the freedom that I'm asking you to exercise," Bradley's great aunt, Cardelia Bradley Walker, said.
The vigil was held at 1300 Fairfax Trafficway, the place Bradley's friends pulled over in the early morning hours last Sunday, the place where he stopped breathing. They said the vigil is important for a lot of reasons.
"Our young people have got to understand that it's no longer cowardly to tell. There's too many of them in caskets. It could be them. It could be another one of their friends this time next week," Bradley's great uncle, Tracy Dyer, said.
Now the Schlagle senior's face graces T-shirts. But it was more than just family and friends of Ramon Bradley at the gathering.
His friends and family are remembering their loved one - the big guy they said always made them laugh, the young man who loved shoes.
"He always used to make me laugh. Even when my day was going wrong, he made it right. He put a smile on my face," Bradley's friend, Alexe Adams, said.
There were uniformed cops and detectives in attendance, a visible sign of support. Authorities say Ramon Bradley had no part in the high-risk lifestyle that many murder victims do.
Moments after releasing info on the suspect car Wednesday, authorities found it, and it could lead to good forensic evidence. But they say they still need witness information to tie things together.
"If you all love my son the way that I do, please, if you know anything or you saw anything or you heard anything ... the smallest detail," Ramona Douglas said.
Though the vigil was about Ramon Bradley, it was also about a bigger picture in his life. His law-abiding family has dealt with three homicides in the last 10 years.
His great-aunt said he is the third person in his family to die from murder, one of them a 70-year-old activist killed at home by a 19-year-old.
Police and Bradley's family are urging anyone with information about his death to contact the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.
Click here and here to read more for previous coverage on this developing story.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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