Reporting Reg Chapman
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It was a birthday a little boy never had a chance to celebrate.
Terrell Mayes, who was shot the day after last Christmas when a stray bullet came through his home, would have turned four years old Sunday.
In north Minneapolis, his family put together a community-wide celebration. It was a carefree time for kids with all the things needed to celebrate turning another year older.
“He deserves to be here right now, because it’s his birthday,” said Ezra, Terrel’s brother. “He should be having fun.”
This celebration is for a kid who is here only in memory. Many that knew him — even those who never met him — came out to celebrate his life.
“It feels good to see these people and it feels sad to be in the spot where my brother got shot at,” said Ezra.
Ezra, 12, and Tae, 11, are trying to focus on celebrating their brother’s birthday, but the pain associated with his death and the uncertainty of being in a neighborhood where his life was taken is overwhelming.
“I’m afraid to come outside still, because you never know — a bullet don’t have no names,” said Ezra.
Overlooking all the football, Frisbee, hula hoop and barbeque is a reminder of why kids here are a bit uneasy.
The bullets holes that pierced the side of Mayes’ former home remain. These kids know this happy gathering could turn tragic without notice.
“Because somebody right now could be in here and just start shooting and he could hit that man, her, me, my grandma, Tae, anybody,” said Ezra.
Still, no one has come forward with information that could lead police to Terrell’s killer.
“People scared to speak up and tell the truth. They scared they are going to get shot,” said Ezra.
Marsha Mayes hopes this gathering will move someone to speak up and tell what they know.
Their prayer is for a killer to be found, so kids can feel safe playing in their community again. They also pray Terrell will be remembered for more than just being a victim of crime.
The Crime Stoppers’ reward for information leading to the arrest of Terrell’s killer is up to $11,000.
Marsha hopes more people will give to the fund to help spur someone to talk.