Dozens gathered Tuesday night for a candlelight and lantern vigil to mourn the loss of Kylis Fagbemi, a 20-year-old man who was one of two young people killed during a mass shooting at a block party in South Baltimore this month.

Fagbemi and 18-year-old Aaliyah Gonzalez, an honors student who recently graduated from Glen Burnie High School, were fatally shot on the night of July 2 after a daylong celebration in the city’s Brooklyn community. Twenty-eight others, mostly young people, were wounded when gunfire erupted at the Brooklyn Day event at Brooklyn Homes.

Family members, friends and neighbors arrived at the corner of Wilson Street and Druid Hill Avenue wearing black, red and white with matching balloon bouquets to honor Fagbemi along the block where he grew up.

A photo of Kylis Fagbemi, who was killed in the mass shooting in Brooklyn.
Kylis Fagbemi, 20. (Metro)

Attendees embraced and wiped away tears from one another’s faces. Then Tiba Aldridge, a minister and community leader, hushed the crowd by posing the question: “How many more?”

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“In my hand is a body bag. How many more?” Aldridge repeated. “We have a mother that’s mourning. We have a father that’s in mourning. We have siblings, aunts, uncles and everybody that’s in mourning for a senseless situation that did not have to happen.”

Tiba Aldridge, a minister and community leader

Tiba Aldridge holds up a body bag as loved ones hold a vigil in honor of Kylis Fagbemi, 20, on July 11, 2023. Fagbemi was shot and killed at a Brooklyn Homes block party on July 2, 2023. (Dylan Thiessen/The Baltimore Banner)

“In my hand is a body bag. How many more?” Aldridge repeated. “We have a mother that’s mourning. We have a father that’s in mourning. We have siblings, aunts, uncles and everybody that’s in mourning for a senseless situation that did not have to happen.”

A 17-year-old accused of flashing a gun before the mass shooting has been arrested and charged with weapons offenses as part of the police investigation. A judge has ordered him held without bond while he awaits trial. Authorities said shell casings from “more than a dozen” guns were found at the scene.

Tamika L., mother of Kylis Fagbemi, 20, is comforted by loved ones at a vigil in honor of Fagbemi on July 11, 2023. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

“I’m not going to have the opportunity to watch my son get married, buy his first car, buy his first house. I’m not going to have the opportunity to do any of it and that’s all [that] I wanted for both of my kids. ... I shouldn’t have to bury my child.”

Tamika L., mother of Kylis Fagbemi

Ty and Tamika L let lanterns go at a vigil in honor of their son, Kylis Fagbemi, 20, on July 11, 2023. Fagbemi was shot and killed at a Brooklyn Homes block party on July 2, 2023.
Ty and Tamika L. let lanterns go at a vigil in honor of their son, Kylis Fagbemi, 20, on July 11, 2023. Fagbemi was shot and killed at a Brooklyn Homes block party on July 2, 2023. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

Fagbemi’s mother, Tamika L. — who asked that her last name not be used due to safety concerns — said she never thought that she would have to put an image of her son’s face on an RIP shirt.

“I’m not going to have the opportunity to watch my son get married, buy his first car, buy his first house. I’m not going to have the opportunity to do any of it and that’s all [that] I wanted for both of my kids. ... I shouldn’t have to bury my child,” Tamika said.

“My son was a good kid. No matter what, he was always a good kid in my eyes,” she added.

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Speakers at the vigil included Khrystyna Kelley, a family friend and president of the Women of Mayhem social club. Kelley said Baltimore’s Black community cannot allow the killing of young people to continue, adding that parents and older adults have to “stand up” to help stop the gun violence.

“Enough is enough. Y’all, I’m tired. I’m tired of going to funerals. I’m tired of seeing mothers crying because their heart is broken. I’m tired of seeing mothers lose a piece of theirselves that they can’t get back. ... As a community we have to come together and stop our kids from this [killing],” Kelley said.

Loved ones hold a vigil in honor of Kylis Fagbemi, 20, on July 11, 2023. Fagbemi was shot and killed at a Brooklyn Homes block party on July 2, 2023. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

“Enough is enough. Y’all. I’m tired. I’m tired of going to funerals. I’m tired of seeing mothers crying because their heart is broken. I’m tired of seeing mothers lose a piece of theirselves that they can’t get back. ... As a community we have to come together and stop our kids from this [killing].”

Khrystyna Kelley, a family friend and president of the Women of Mayhem social club

Ashley Garner, 19, attends a vigil in honor of Kylis Fagbemi, 20, on July 11, 2023. Fagbemi was shot and killed at a Brooklyn Homes block party on July 2, 2023. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
Tiba Aldridge, of Sanctuary Without Walls, leads a prayer with loved ones of Kylis Fagbemi, 20, on July 11, 2023. Fagbemi was shot and killed at a Brooklyn Homes block party on July 2, 2023. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

Young people in Baltimore continue to be shot in record numbers in 2023, despite nonfatal shootings and homicides being down. Last year was a record year for children being shot in Baltimore, according to previous reporting by The Banner in September.

“Y’all really need to take heed and listen. If it keeps on like this, we’re not gonna have a future at all for none of our kids,” Tamika added.

penelope.blackwell@thebaltimorebanner.com

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This story has been updated with the correct spelling of Khrystyna Kelley’s surname.

Penelope Blackwell is a Breaking News reporter with The Banner. Previously, she covered local government in Durham, NC, for The News & Observer. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Morgan State University and her master’s in journalism from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

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