A grieving and heartbroken community came together Thursday to remember Antwon Rose Jr. — the 17-year-old unarmed teen whose life ended during a fatal police shooting in East Pittsburgh last month.
Emotions ran high during a gathering for the slain teen on what would have been his 18th birthday. Michelle Kenney, Rose’s mother, along with hundreds of community members, came out during the Antwon Rose Community Day in Rankin, Pennsylvania. There was food, drinks, bounce houses and games; most importantly, there was a lot of love and support for Kenney.
“She didn’t want to be alone, the family didn’t want to be alone on his birthday without him here,” Joelisa McDonald, a close family friend who organized the event, said to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “She thought if she was surrounded by people who loved [Rose] and who appreciated him while he was here on earth that it would help her get through this day.”
Kenney was joined by Samaria Rice, Tamar Rice‘s mother who faced the same devastating loss when her son was killed.
Rose was fatally shot three times in his back by disgraced East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld on June 19. Rosfeld, who had a history of brutality, took Rose’s life without warning during a traffic stop. A video of the incident showed the moment when Rose was hit with gunfire while running out of a car.
Rosfeld has been charged with criminal homicide after the teen’s death sparked outrage across the nation. Rose’s family is “cautiously optimistic” that justice will come, Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney representing the family, said to CBS affiliate KDKA-TV.
Rest in power, Antwon Rose.