Tears rolled often as candles twinkled in the hands of loved ones, and what ended with a balloon release, was a group of family and friends coming together to remember the life of 17-year-old Bruce Hamilton.
"I’m feeling an absolute loss. It’s really hard for me to go to sleep at night because I’m waiting to hear him come through the house," said his mother, Andrea Edwards.
Edwards said the family is dealing with tremendous loss after Hamilton's grandfather recently passed. Hamilton's father is also battling cancer, she said.
Hamilton was gunned-down Monday near a BP gas station on the corner of Lafayette and Monroe in west Baltimore. The shooting happened at about 11:30 p.m. in what his family said was some kind of confrontation.
Police said a crowd gathered and watched Hamilton as he lay on the ground, dying, before police arrived and he was taken to Shock Trauma, where he died.
"We call him BJ," said his uncle, Kevin Lawson before a candlelight vigil was scheduled to start in his honor. "BJ was a good kid, (and) very smart, especially in math.
Hamilton graduated high school in May.
His death makes the 10th teenager under the age of eight killed under on city streets this year.
"Homicide detectives are continuing to investigate this case. We’re asking anyone in the community who might have any information at all to please come forward," said detective Jeremy Silbert, a Baltimore Police spokesman.
But Thursday was about celebrating. It was not only Hamilton’s 18th birthday, but it’s that of his twin brother, as well.
Detectives are asking for the public's help in solving Hamilton's murder. If you have any information, call 410-396-2100.