Cassandra Hall shielded her eyes as she looked out at the sweat- and tear-streaked faces gathered on a north Minneapolis corner on Friday evening.
Several people held signs, while others released blue balloons into the air in memory of 18-year-old Dayigin Broadus, who was fatally shot on the same corner at Lowry and Fremont avenues N. on Wednesday.
Broadus, who went by "Gin," was shot while fleeing a fight that had broken out in the parking lot of the public library branch across the street, according to acquaintances. He died at a hospital.
It was a sad, sudden death for a young man who had showed so much promise, Hall said.
"You know how after a murder, all of a sudden [the victim] turns into an angel and all of a sudden he was the best person in the world — that wasn't Dayigin," she said. "He wasn't a bad kid; he didn't run the streets like most kids."
The vigil, held in a grassy plot next to a beauty salon, was organized by longtime anti-violence advocate K.G. Wilson. As the sun set, family members joined hands in a prayer circle and asked for guidance during a trying time.
Across the street, two Minneapolis police SUVs stood guard because, as several attendees pointed out, such gatherings sometimes invite further violence.
Broadus had been the youngest of five siblings — two girls and three boys. One of his brothers, Carl, remembered him as "caring" and an avid gamer who spent his days playing games like "God of War" and "Grand Theft Auto."
"He was a caregiver; he cared for everybody," Carl Broadus said.
Police said officers found Broadus lying in the street at the intersection in the Jordan neighborhood after ShotSpotter detected gunfire in the area around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. He had been shot in the torso by an unidentified assailant. He died at North Memorial Medical Center, according to authorities.
Department records show it was the city's 11th homicide of the year.
On Friday, a makeshift memorial of balloons, stuffed animals and candles wrapped around a street sign near the spot where he fell.
Among the parade of mourners who came to pay their respects on Friday was Broadus' mother, Mary. She fumbled for words when approached by a reporter. "My baby got caught in the crossfire," she mustered before being escorted away by a relative.
Hall said that Mary Broadus was still mourning the death of her 6-year-old granddaughter, Kendrea Johnson, who was found hanging from a jump rope in her foster home four years ago.
Broadus sued Hennepin County for wrongful death and won a $1.5 million settlement last week. "She was just on the news," said Hall.
But for Mary Broadus, the settlement also brought back painful memories that she had tried hard to bury, relatives say. And now her son, too, is dead.
Scott Seroka, a police spokesman, said by text message Friday that homicide detectives had no updates on the case.