Family, friends remember slain 16-year-old at West End vigil

Eric Shields vigil

WEST END (FOX19) - A community mourned at a vigil Thursday for a 16-year-old who was shot and killed in the West End over the weekend.

Eric Shields, 16, died after he was shot in the 700 block of Hopkins Street on Saturday night. His family has told FOX19 NOW they do not believe he was the intended target.

“He was the best son a father could ask for man," Eric Shields Sr. said of his son at the vigil. "He was a good kid and always smiling.”

PREVIOUS | 16-year-old dies following West End shooting | Family of 16-year-old killed in West End shooting seeking justice

Cincinnati City Councilman Jeff Pastor got choked up as he talked about the fallen teen to the crowd of around 100.

“I’m sorry, but we can’t normalize this behavior,” Pastor said. “This has to stop. There is not an ordinance. This is a cultural thing. And until we stand up and say enough is enough, this is going to continue to happen."

Shields was just beginning his junior year at DePaul Cristo Rey High School in Clifton. His family remembers him as kind-hearted and respectful. He took joy in playing basketball and spending time with family and friends.

“Eric had a his whole life ahead of him,” said Felita Thomas, Shields’ cousin. “We will never get to see him graduate, we will never get to see him go to the senior prom, we will never get to see him have his children. We will never see him get married. We will never get to see him do anything."

After the candles were lit in his honor, it was time to release the balloons. Shields’ cousin Rhonda Davis said the message is clear: Something needs to be done.

“Violence has to stop. Guns have to come off the street,” Davis said. “We have to take a stand and we have to understand where are children are at all times.

No arrests have been made in the shooting death of Eric Shields. Police have not said if they have any leads in the case.

Copyright 2019 WXIX. All rights reserved.