PLYMOUTH, Minn. (KMSP) - Community members came together in Plymouth to remember the life of a seven-year-old boy who accidentally shot and killed himself this week.
Friday evening, dozens gathered as a show of support for a mother in mourning, enduring a pain no parent should ever have to.
“He had a big heart,” said Kyuandria Samuels, Keyaris’ mother. “Very open minded, very old spirit, very old spirit. Curious. Very curious child.”
Samuels' son Keyaris accidently shot himself in the head after finding a loaded gun in a box with a hoverboard Wednesday after school.
His family says they nicknamed him "Bear" because he was a very hairy baby and it was fitting because he loved to give hugs.
“He was a character,” said Melissa Coleman, Keyaris’ grandmother. “He had a story for everybody. If you listened, he had a story for you and he'd ask you anything. He didn't care what it was or who you were. He didn’t care.”
Before the vigil, a steady stream of friends, neighbors and even total strangers lined up to comfort the Samuels family and drop off teddy bears at the growing memorial on his family's front porch. Teachers from Wayzata Meadow Ridge Elementary, where Keyaris was a first grader, wore a rainbow of colored t-shirts to pay their respects with open arms.
“I thank you guys for praying for me,” said Samuels. “The love and support. I need it so much. I need it. I need it.”
For seven years, family members said the little boy with an old soul was an angel from heaven on Earth and now because of a tragedy, he finally has his wings.
“Hug your child and love your child because you just never know, you never know,” said Samuels.
Family members say a wake for Keyaris will be held Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Washburn McCreavy on Lowry Avenue in Minneapolis. The viewing will be Friday from 11 a.m. to noon at Greater Mount Vernon Missionary Baptist Church with the funeral or homegoing ceremony to follow.