PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) -- Friends and family held a vigil Thursday for 15-year-old William Parsons at the spot in front of the Providence Career and Technical Academy where he was fatally shot.

Even one year later, the emotion is still raw.

"This is what happens," said Parsons' friend Jahzia Rodriguez. "People get hurt, people start crying, and people have to come together, and it shouldn't be like this. We want to celebrate him? It should be for his birthday, it should be for him going to prom, it should be for him being able to drive. It shouldn't be because he's dead."

At the vigil Parsons was remembered for his smile, kindness, and desire to become a state trooper.

"He was always going to make it out of here and he's not going to be one of these people that's going to be on the streets," Rodriguez said. "He was going to be different and now he'll never get the chance to be different because somebody wanna go ahead and use a gun that shouldn't have even been there. It wasn't even supposed to be him."

Police say parsons was an innocent bystander when a fight broke out nearby and a bullet hit him.

Just last week 17–year–old Joel Loarca was sentenced to life in prison, plus ten years, for his murder.

But the Parsons family says it doesn't provide much solace.

"I don't feel as though it's closure, but it's part for whole," said Williams' uncle, Treze Parsons. "It's bittersweet."

They take some comfort in the show of support at the vigil.

"To show how much the community cares about him," said Parsons' friend, Dalaysia Pina. "And that we still have love for him, even though he's gone."

Friends say they're returning the love that he showed them.

"The kind–hearted person that he was, who loved everyone, who never treated nobody different, who always made sure everybody felt included?" Rodriguez said. "It should've never been him."

The Parsons family is encouraging young people in the community to work with nonviolence organizations.


© WLNE-TV/ ABC6 2019