Vigil held for teen murdered over the weekend

Uriah Ware (Source: Cincinnati Police)
Uriah Ware (Source: Cincinnati Police)

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email|Facebook

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Could the murder of a teenager over the weekend have been prevented?

"As parents, we've got to do whatever we can to protect our kids, and now our kids are dying," said Sandy Saturday, a local party promoter.

The community gathered Monday night at the Armory where Uriah Ware, 17, was killed by stray gunfire on Saturday night.

Cincinnati Police District Four Police Headquarters is next door to where this shooting happened, at the old Ohio National Guard Armory, which has now been re-named "Hope For Change." It's a recreation center for kids.

Sandy Saturday said she alerted police there might be something going down there. She is a veteran teen party planner. She grew up with the victim's family in Woodlawn and Lincoln Heights.

"From my understanding," she said. "He wasn't targeted."

Saturday knows a lot of teens.

"A lot of the teens come to my parties," she said. "And I've a better rapport with these teens. I love these teens, and they trust me."

She said she got some serious calls that night.

"A couple of teens called me and told me, 'you have any kids up there? Because I heard some guys supposed to be going up there and shooting,'" Saturday said.

And even though the party was not one of her group's parties, she said she felt compelled to alert District Four.

"Their phone number's 569-8900," she pointed-out where she'd called it on her cell phone.

That was around 9:01 p.m. Saturday night. Not long after, 17-year-old Uriah Ware Junior was dead. He had been shot in the face. Police said he was an innocent bystander.

Saturday got a text message from a friend not long after she'd called the police, confirming her worst fears.

"It was random," Uriah's tearful father, Uriah, Sr. said. "Which is such a sad, sad incident because nobody, no one, wins."

He vows he will find his only boy's killer.

"He was my first born, my only son," he said. "And he was named after me. Everything is wiped away. I have two other daughters, but nothing to carry on my name and it's the worst thing that could actually happen to a human being."

Saturday said the dispatcher she spoke with at District Four told her that whoever was throwing the party had not hired a police detail.

"I carry 10 to 15 security guards at any given party," she said, along with hiring a police detail.

Maybe the folks who organized the party at the Armory, felt secure being within spitting distance from District Four.

"We have to continue to have hope for change, we can't give-up on our youth," said one of the organizers of a vigil for Uriah Monday night.

Organizers said more than 180 young people have been killed in our city, where their killer has not been found yet.

"When I was a teenager, we weren't burying people like this," Saturday said. She also said she will never throw another teen party without first making sure a police detail will be there.

Meanwhile, the killer of 17-year-old Uriah Ware is still out there somewhere. If you think you know anything, call Crimestoppers at 513-352-3040.

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.