Group holds prayer vigil for peace following violent weekend

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Monday afternoon, a group of boys ranging in the age from 8-16 donning black t-shirts gathered to pray.

The boys were part of Young Men Incorporated. The group mentors 100 boys each summer for 9 weeks, taking them off the streets.

The group prayed in a parking lot at 38th Street and Moller Road; a location where three Warren Central High School students were shot.

One of the victims, 17-year-old Angel Mejia Alfaro, died from his gunshot wound.

Police say the shooting started with the sell of some shoes, that led to a scuffle and then a shooting. IMPD has not made any arrest in Alfaro’s murder.

During the vigil those in attendance prayed for peace. IMPD Chief Bryan Roach encouraged the group of teens and the crowd. DeAndra Yates also spoke to the crowd. In 2014, her 13-year-old son was shot in the head by a stray bullet. He survived, but the shooting has forever altered his life.

“Think about your family and loved ones,” Yates encouraged the group.

After the prayers were over, the leader of Young Men Inc., Reverend Malachi Walker, told the boys to believe in themselves and to love one another.

This summer, Walker plans to go to some of the city’s most challenged neighborhood to recruit boys and teenagers to his summer program for boys. The summer program includes training, field trips, and lessons on how to be a great young man.

Each year Walker raises money for the program. It costs about $60,000 to host 100 boys for the summer.

Walker has done the program for 23 years; in that time 3,000 boys have gone through Young Men Incorporated since its existence.

In an interview, Walker stressed why it is important to have prayer vigils like the one today.

“If we don’t have a vigil things would be much worse,” said Walker.

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