Community remembers murder victim with a vigil

November 17, 2018 11:27 PM

Cohoes-Community members in Cohoes held a vigil for Johni Dunia.

"He was a 17 year old boy who wanted to make that leap to become a man and now unfortunately he won't be able to" said Casi Palin of Cohoes.

Advertisement – Content Continues Below

The community of Cohoes is still trying to understand what they say is another life lost way too soon
after Johni Dunia, 17, was shot on Friday night on the Mohawk Hudson bike trail. Police say they have ruled his death a homicide.

"This isn't real to me, I don't believe it. i don't know why someone would do this to a close friend of mine, don't make no sense"  said Hasiem Townsed of Albany.

Family, friends and community members gathered for a vigil in St. George park to remember Dunia Saturday night. Those close to the young man say there was no one like him, friends say he was always thoughtful and kind.

"He gave everyone hugs, everyone knew him, whether you were  a jock, a nerdy kid, he was cool with everybody. He didn't care who you were, he liked everyone" said Palin.

"Everybody loved him, he was like a little brother to everybody" said Townsed.

People close to the family say Dunia relocated to cohoes to try to turn his life around and focus on his future.

"He was originally from Albany, he grew up down there and came to Cohoes, I honestly think his mom moved him here to try get him out of bad stuff. He really was making a change. He had a job, he really stopped hanging out with the few that were keeping him down" said Palin.

Many attending the vigil say they're still shocked and in disbelief that Dunia is gone.

"He had a whole life ahead of him, I just don't know what to say, I feel so bad for his family" said Palin.


Brooke Selby

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

Relay Media Amp
Averill Park students stranded at Canadian border after bus driver detained

Apparent homicide under investigation in Queensbury

Disturbing audio recordings released in connection with NXIVM trial

Names released in fatal crash investigation at Northway, I-90 intersection

UAlbany student charged with rape