'He's smiling on us:' Family and friends gather to remember Triston Reece
Family and friends gathered on Saturday in Halifax's North End to remember Triston Reece, a young football player who was fatally shot last Friday.
Organized by Reece's cousin, Trayvone Clayton, a celebration of life for the 19-year-old was held following a funeral at Saint Patrick's Church on Friday.
"Right now he's smiling on us, that's why it's a beautiful day," says Clayton. "He's making sure everyone's good, and everyone's covered to make this day happen – he's with us."
Family, friends and even strangers gathered to remember Reece, with many children who looked up to Reece paying their respects as well.
"Today we should be happy and no fighting or anything, we should come together as a community," says one local youth.
"Having celebrations like this helps us focus on the positive and the good that comes from the community and brings everyone together so that we're able to better get through difficult times like this," says community member, Amanda Rose.
The celebration of Reece brought out many in the community who expressed their thoughts through words by writing messages of support and love and creating a hashtag #LongLiveKingReece.
"We all hurt as a community when we lose one of our young people in our community – it should not happen," says 902 Man Up founder, Marcus James. "This is our way of saying we aren't going to tolerate it and we're here for you – whatever that means, whatever that looks like."
It's the help Clayton says he needs as he's experiencing feelings of deep loss following the tragedy, but is appreciative for the support that is giving him the energy to persevere.
"I'm going to leave with a smile on my face, and hopefully I can start climbing again," says Clayton. "I've been pushed down, and I'm at the bottom again, so hopefully I can turn around and make things happen."
Meanwhile, Halifax Regional Police say the case remains open, and they're continuing to ask anyone with information about the shooting to share it.
With files from CTV's Suzette Belliveau