Troy homicide victims remembered at vigil

December 31, 2017 12:04 AM

TROY – On one of the coldest nights of this winter, the presence of the community helped warm the grieving hearts of the recent quadruple homicide in Troy. 

“Everybody goes home to feel safe with their family,” said Khalif Coleman. “Nobody expects this to happen to them in their own home.” 

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On Saturday, loved ones gathered outside the home Shanta Myers and her family were supposed to feel safe.

They now grieve for the 36-year-old, her two children - 11-year-old Jeremiah Myers and 5-year-old Shanise Myers - along with Myers' partner, 22-year-old Brandi Mells.

Police said all four victims were killed in their basement apartment at 158 2nd avenue just days before Christmas.  

Saturday’s vigil came hours after the family faced the victim's accused murders - James White and Justin Mann - in court.
Coleman, who is Myers’ nephew, has one question for them. 

“What can I really say to somebody who can do that to kids, Coleman said. “I don't really know who you are as a person. I just want to ask you why…”

White and Mann's arrest bring little comfort to community members like Eva Bass, who was a mentor to Jeremiah – also known as JJ. 

“It's just going to strengthen us but there's never going to be closure,” Bass said. “It's going to be pain and a wound that I don't think is ever going to heal.” 

“It feels good they found the two people that took not just baby's life but the parent’s life at that and left the one boy without his family,” said Maliya Blackwell of the Troy Boys and Girls Club.  

That one boy is Myers' surviving son, Isaiah smith. 

“We're coming together as a community so that Isiah can live a positive successful life,” said family friend, Jerry Ford, who was also a mentor to Jeremiah. 

“I always wanted to be a cop out here,” Coleman said. “But I keep procrastinating because I didn't know if I wanted to do it or not.” 

Because of the brutal murders of his family members, Coleman said he is now certain he wants to become a police officer to better his community and honor his family's memory. 

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help support those affected by the killings.


WNYT Staff

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