HARRISBURG, Pa. --- Family and friends of 18-year old Kyler Waiwada gathered Friday night to memorialize him.
Waiwada was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds on the night of Friday, August 30 on the 1800 block of State Street.
Two men have been arrested in connection to his death.
At the balloon release vigil, Bethany Waiwada, Kyler's mother, said they're remembering the "angel" he was.
“The respectful little boy that if you asked him to do something once, he was going to do it. That you didn’t have to question his loyalty. And what’s crazy is the person whose loyalty you didn’t have to question was taken by people whose loyalty he should have,” said Waiwada.
Claude Phipps, of Harrisburg, said Kyler worked for him during a district judge campaign two years ago.
He described Waiwada as "studious" and "hard-working," saying he wishes he knew Kyler better.
“He can never have any more opportunities in life, okay? And that’s the loss," said Phipps.
Phipps believes the Harrisburg community needs to band together to solve the issue of gun violence and not look to others for answers.
He said he wants people to start engaging young people in the city.
“We don’t need any more memorials to our youth, okay? And I want our youth to have all the opportunities that life afford them. Don’t have your last thought to be a memorial like this for you," said Phipps.
Despite the "humbling" support Waiwada says they've received, she said she and her family are still hurting.
"I’m not going to lie, I’m not going to sugar coat it, I’m not the mom for that…nothing helps, nothing helps…You can’t make up the loss of a baby, you can’t take that away,” said Waiwada.
There will be an open visitation on Saturday at noon at the Winfield Funeral Home in Steelton.
The Waiwada family said it's open to the public.