UPDATE 9:54 PM, Wednesday March 29, 2017
A public vigil was held Wednesday (Mar. 29) for 16-year-old Deven Holloway, who was killed near Linton Middle School in Penn Hills on Tuesday, March 28. Hundreds came together in unison, remembering the Penn Hills high school sophomore who was just playing basketball at the playground before the shooting. John Wilson, Deven’s cousin, spoke to the New Pittsburgh Courier about his cousin, how his parents raised Deven, and what it will take to stop the violence in Pittsburgh.
NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER EXCLUSIVE VIDEO (watch)
Vigil to be held for Deven Holloway, the 16-year-old killed in Penn Hills on Tuesday, March 28, 2017
A Licensed Professional Counselor was on hand in the moments following yet another nonsensical homicide in the Pittsburgh area, this time Penn Hills.
But Talisa Reed was not there to work. She was there to grieve.
She’s the second cousin of 16-year-old Deven Holloway, who was found shot to death at a playground next to Linton Middle School just after 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28. Holloway, by all accounts, was just playing basketball when three to five shots rang out, cutting short a promising life.
“He was a hard worker, he was trying to maintain his grades and go to college,” Reed said about the Penn Hills High School sophomore. “He was just out here playing basketball.”
“The Board of Directors of the Penn Hills School District extends their deepest sympathies to the family of (Holloway)…and shares the sadness with all the families of Penn Hills students,” said Erin Vecchio, Board President. “We have directed grief counseling to be available to students and staff for as long as needed.”
Allegheny County Lieutenant Andrew Schurman said detectives have questioned several people in connection with the shooting, but no charges have been filed as the investigation continues. Anyone who saw suspicious activity near the school around the time of the incident is asked to contact county homicide detectives at 412-373-3000.
School officials have canceled classes for Wednesday, March 29 at the high school, elementary school and Linton Middle School.
Facebook has been flooded with posts remembering Holloway’s life. Reed, however, is sure that her 16-year-old cousin’s life didn’t have to end. “What is it about these guns that these kids are intrigued with?” she asked. “This terrorizes people. This causes real trauma.”
Throughout the afternoon and into the evening Tuesday, March 28, family members and community supporters continued to arrive at the middle school. There were tears, hugs, and lives forever altered. If anyone could know the pain of such a tragedy, it was Reed. She told the New Pittsburgh Courier that her daughter, Carma Reed, was shot and killed in January 2004 on the North Side in a case of mistaken identity. She was 19, and a student at Duquesne University. Thomas Kelly, of the North Side, was convicted of the murder in 2006.
“That’s what I’m living with everyday for the rest of my life,” Reed said.
Holloway’s mother, Reed said, would describe him as “a loving son, who loved his family.”
There will be a public vigil at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 29 at the middle school, 250 Aster St. Who knows how many will attend. Hundreds, maybe thousands.
But the night prior, as the sun set on what began as your everyday Tuesday, the scene of the crime was only occupied by family members. Even the Penn Hills police had called it a night.
Reed was there of course, holding hands with other loved ones who loved 16-year-old Deven Holloway. The small group had their heads bowed down, as cousin Jackie led the group in prayer. Reed said Jackie’s words were perfect.
“My cousin led a prayer for no hostility, and for there to be peace in our community.”
Contact Rob Taylor Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @robtonsports