LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Loved ones gathered Wednesday night at an emotional candlelight vigil for a 7-year-old boy killed in a car-to-car shooting in Mid-City this week.
Talaib Pecante, his mother, and another man were struck when multiple shots were fired in the 1900 block of South Corning Street at approximately 9 p.m. Monday, according to police.
The boy died Tuesday at Children’s Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery after a bullet became lodged next to his heart.
Talaib’s family and youth football teammates were present during the service, where his father grieved the loss of his son.
“Deep inside I’m tore up, but I have to stay strong,” Rich Pecante said.
The patriarch, an assistant coach for the Compton Viking Youth Football Team, vowed Talaib’s memory would live on through his teammates.
“Look who you affected, these babies, all these babies…his teammates,” he said.
Teammate Justin Harris was among several players who signed a jersey in Talaib’s honor.
“I can’t understand because, why him?” the boy asked.
“Everybody misses him,” teammate Isaiah Jackson said.
Coach Damon Fields said the team is part of the Snoop Youth Football League, founded by rapper Snoop Lion. The musician, rapper and Compton-native The Game and NFL player DeSean Jackson have chipped in to cover funeral costs.
“Multiple celebrities…came forward,” Fields said.
The community is now joining the celebrity call on gang members to cease violence.
“You have to answer to this, you know, and I hope that you would come forward and just do the right thing,” Fields said.
The victim’s mother was at the vigil, but she asked not to speak with the media or have her picture taken.
LAPD officers say the suspects in the case remain at large.
Anyone with information about the shooting can contact the LAPD’s West L.A. Division at (310)444-0702.