Hundreds gather to remember slain Harrisonburg teen while calling for an end to gun violence

Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 10:55 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2023 at 12:10 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Friends, family and fellow community members gathered on Friday evening at Court Square in Downtown Harrisonburg to remember Calour Fields, a 17-year-old boy shot and killed at a party, and other victims of gun violence.

18 year-old Jayden Walker, one of Fields’ friends and one of the organizers of the event said Fields was a his teammate and most importantly a brother. He recalled the moment he heard the news of Calour’s passing.

“My heart dropped and the first thing I did was I got on my knees, and I prayed. I prayed. I prayed for his mom to be protected through this devastating thing that happened,” he said.

Walker said he wanted this event to send a clear message.

“Put guns down and just find ways of solving problems either than killing each other,” he said. “The best thing to do is just pray on it or talk it out with the person because a gun doesn’t do nothing but cause grief.”

Dozens of teens, law enforcement officers, Harrisonburg officials and some who didn’t know Fields all agreed that gun violence has to stop.

Speakers encouraged the teens in attendance that it’s okay to walk away from a bad situation and also to not be afraid to speak out.

“Look at your friends and tell them, it’s okay. I’d rather you be a punk than be missing or dead,” one speaker said.

“There’s no such thing as no snitching... They made the choice to pull that trigger not you. Speak up. Tell the truth,” another added.

Walker said he hopes people understand how much gun violence impacts the community, and he will not let Calour’s death be in vain.

“That helped me get my voice...I’m not gone stop until we get everybody on the same page and not have these petty beefs,” he said.

His hope is that Harrisonburg will be a safe city for future generations and that people will learn that gun violence is not an appropriate way to display emotion.

Harrisonburg Police Chief Kelly Warner spoke to WHSV about how proud she was of the teens who came together to put on the event. She believes the message to stop gun violence will have to come from younger voices to be effective.

”If you don’t do anything else today, I want you to look up to the sky and tell Calour thank you. Thank you for one time bringing the unity back into Harrisonburg,” a speaker said.

It was said that Calour’s funeral will be held on Monday, but Walker said this is the first of many events to come to stop gun violence in the local community and beyond.