A night of mourning: Northport mayor hosts vigil for teens lost to gun violence

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Wednesday evening in Northport, a community mourned the loss of two teenagers whose lives were cut short in separate shootings in less than a week.

Northport Mayor Bobby Herndon hosted the candlelight vigil, where the mothers of 13-year-old Kei’lan Allen and 16-year-old Trinity Shannon came together and shared their agonizing loss with their family, friends and neighbors.

Kei’lan was shot and killed in his West Tuscaloosa bedroom Oct. 15, the victim of drive-by shooting police said was aimed at another member of his family.

Trinity died in the wake of a drive-by shooting in the drive-thru at a Wendy’s in Northport just days later, on Oct. 19.

For the first time since her daughter’s death, Trinity’s mother Melonese Shannon spoke out, saying no parent should find themselves without their child in such circumstances.

“When they’re gone, you can’t get them back,” Shannon said. “I ask everyone to pray for not just my family or his family, but all the families who have lost children over violence, period.”

After candles ignited, Herndon led the vigil in prayer. Those in attendance could write messages on two table cloths set up and offered to Kei’lan and Trinity’s parents following the event.

Kai’lan’s cousin Cassandra McGee said it warms her heart to see so many people come out in honor of these lost lives.

“My heart is so overwhelmed that Mayor Herndon put this together for Trinity and Kei’lan,” McGee said. “Their lives were lost so tragically, so young.  I’m just overwhelmed to see everybody come out and want to give support and love on my family and Trinity’s family.”

Herndon said Northport and Tuscaloosa  must come together and figure out what their communities need to end this unnecessary violence.

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