“Darell, I miss you already,” Christine Vang cried. “How am I supposed to live the rest of my life without you, Darell?”
She was gathered with a group of people to mourn the life of Darell Richards, the 19-year-old man who was shot and killed by Sacramento police SWAT officers Thursday morning after brandishing a pellet gun that looked like a 9 mm handgun and knife. Vang is Richards’ mother.
The vigil, held Friday night at 21st Street and 2nd Avenue in Curtis Park, was organized by Sacramento Black Lives Matter.
A large crowd quietly held hands and joined together for a prayer, led in order to “pray for justice for Darell, we pray for justice for the family, and for unity amongst us as a community,” a group leader said.
“It is our duty to fight for our freedom, it is our duty to win, we must love and support one another, we have nothing to lose but our chains,” the crowd chanted after the prayer.
Vang and Richards’ other family members cried together while crowd members came and hugged them.
Chucc Gauthier said he came to the vigil to support his best friend, Richards’ father.
“There’s really no words for it, it just shouldn’t have happened,” Gauthier said. “He loved to ride bikes, he was always out and about. He was full of energy. I can’t even talk, I can’t even talk. He was a good kid.”
“All I can say on behalf of the family is that we are saddened by this tragedy,” Richards’ public defender Quoc To said. “Darell was a kind soul, a good young man. Regardless of the circumstances or the situation, this was a life that was cut short tragically and it did not need to happen.”
“We can’t forget his face,” Vang said quietly to a member of the crowd.