NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A moment of silence, followed by cheers as Akilah DaSilva’s family released four balloons Monday night at a candlelight vigil, to honor each life lost one year ago.

Akilah, DeEbony Groves, Joe Perez and Taurean Sanderlin were killed last April after a gunman opened fire in an Antioch Waffle House.

Many people dressed in blue at Monday night's vigil for Akilah.

“Sky Blue has been his favorite color since he was a baby,” Akilah’s brother Abede said.

Abede was at Waffle House with Akilah the morning he was killed.

“It’s an unbelievable thing that I went through,” Abede said. “Traumatic, but I keep just pushing for my brother. Keep fighting for him.”

Abede honored his brother with a song at Monday night’s vigil.

Akilah was also an artist who shared powerful messages through his music.

“His music also talked against gun violence,” Abede said.

Lyrics with an even more powerful meaning today.

Akilah’s mother is continuing to keep her son’s spirit alive, vowing to keep pushing for change to try and keep another young talented life from being taken too soon.

“Akilah was such a special kid,” his mother Shaundelle Brooks said. “I’m going to fight regardless of what it takes, my child is going to get justice.”

Shaundelle says a foundations has been started, and soon there will be scholarships in Akilah’s name for students at Cane Ridge High School where Akilah graduated.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Brittany Weiner joined the News4 team as a reporter in July 2018.

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