Nearly a week and a half after 15-year-old Sunny Patel was fatally shot inside his family's Mr. Hero restaurant in Cleveland Heights, dozens of people gathered for a prayer vigil in Cain Park Sunday.
"The goal was to express our sorrow together, to show our solidarity to the Heights community, to try our best to stand with the Patel family and do our best to surround them with love," said Don King, a pastor at Hope Lutheran Church in Cleveland Heights.
A group of interfaith leaders, including Don King, organized the vigil, in which Patel's family and friends attended along with residents of the community.
"We are so grateful, thanks to the community," said Binta Patel, the victim's aunt. "We are feeling very good, leaving this vigil. This means a lot to us."
Together, the group prayed, read scripture and sang songs.
"We hate this kind of violence," added King. "We wish this kind of vigil never has to happen again. But it happened this time. We stand as one with the family. We support them. And we will be there for them in any way that we possibly can."
20-year-old Daveion Perry of Cleveland Heights was charged in Sunny's death. Sunny was a sophomore at Mayfield Heights High School.