Friends remember teen shot and killed outside hotel

Local News

Friends and family members gathered to release balloons Monday night in honor of a teen shot and killed outside the hotel where he worked.

According to police, 19-year-old Jayren Graham died in the Thursday night shooting outside the DoubleTree Suites in Miami Township.

“It just feels so unreal honestly,” said Davion’tae Knight, a close friend. “I was just with him.”

Graham had worked at the hotel for about six months as a dishwasher, Knight said, adding that Graham had encouraged him to to apply for a job there.

“He was really positive,” Knight said. “He didn’t deserve this at all.”

Friends we spoke with describe Jayren as a teen who loved to rap, play video games and make people laugh.

“When I try to think of who could have done this, I can’t think of anybody wanting to do it,” said Ashley Juarez.

A 17-year-old boy has been arrested in connection to the shooting, according to Miami Township police.

People we spoke with at Monday’s vigil said they want their friend to get the justice he deserves.

“No one can forget about Jayren at all, just how he won’t forget about you,” said John Frost, another friend.

Friends said Jayren was a spiritual person, and for them, his spirit lives on.

“He would never talk about how his death would be, but I feel like that he definitely speaks to us through the balloons,” Juarez said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover the family’s funeral expenses. If you would like to donate, click here.

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