Many of the balloons that were released Sunday evening in Loose Park bore a picture of Spider-Man because he was Marcus Haislip III’s favorite super hero.
The 3-year-old Kansas City boy was shot and killed May 12 when a man on foot shot into a car in which he was riding with his father and another male relative at 54th Street and Park Avenue. The two men were injured.
As has happened so many times before, the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime organized a prayer vigil.
Charity Guinn knows about this. She lost her 6-year-old daughter, Angel Hooper, in a drive-by shooting in Octoer 2014.
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“I’m sick and tired of going to prayer vigils for kids,” Guinn said Sunday. “I’m sick and tired of it.”
Pastor Calvin Wainright of Heaven Sent Outreach Ministries was in a similar mood.
“Enough is enough,” he said. “He (Marcus) he could have been a lawyer. He could have been a doctor. He could have been anything his heart desired. But then a fool stepped in and did foolish things. That’s what we’re doing to our neighborhoods.”
Damon Daniel, president of Ad Hoc, said there are a number of reaons to hold a prayer vigil.
“One is that we as a community have come together today to mourn the loss of a child,” he said. “The second is to call for justice. We recognize there is someone out there who is responsible for taking the life of this child. We want to make sure that they know that we’re a communuity that cares and that we’re asking them to turn themselves in.”
Daniel called for the more than 50 people at the vigil to form a circle around the children that were present. He asked for a show of hands from people who had lost a loved one to violence. Many hands went up.
“It is up to us to protect our chldren,” Daniel said. “It is up to us to have a vision for a better day.”
Angela Brown, Marcus’ mother, did not wish to speak before the gathering but she accepted hugs.
“Continue to pray for us,” she said softly.
As with so many vigils, this one concluded with a chant before the balloon release.
“Break the silence to end the violence.”