Community gathers to celebrate life of 1-year-old boy killed by stray bullet in Bed-Stuy in 2020
Family and friends gathered Saturday to remember the life of a 1-year-old boy who was fatally shot by a stray bullet in Bed-Stuy three years ago.
Saturday would have marked Davell Gardner Jr.'s fifth birthday. His life was cut short in July 2020 when he was struck by a stray bullet on the brink of his second birthday while sitting in a stroller near Marcus Garvey Boulevard.
"He was amazing, he was amazing, he was an energetic soul," said Davell Gardner, the boy's father. "He was really just like another version of me... in baby form. He was so smart for his age. He was just a joy."
To celebrate what would have been Davell's fifth birthday this month, the family coordinated with local community groups to hold a celebration in Raymond Bush Playground, near where he was killed.
The Lay the Guns Down Foundation was largely responsible for organizing the event in which dozens showed up to show their support for Gardner and his family.
"Every time I know his birthday or memorial service is coming up, just knowing that the community will be there and support us 100%, it's just everything," Gardner added.
"This was something that was tragic to the community, and I want to make sure no one forgets this. That's why we do this, come out, bring the family out. Lend support to them because they need the support," said Lay the Guns Down Foundation co-founder Michael Tucker.
The family said they plan on creating a foundation in Davell's name to honor his legacy and help other families who fall victim to gun violence.