‘They can kill a peacemaker, but they can’t kill peace’: A march for unity after Garfield shooting

SEATTLE — Community members continue to call for change, one week after Amarr Murphy-Paine, 17, was tragically killed at Garfield High School.

On Thursday, dozens of people, including Amarr’s church, walked in unity to honor the young teen.

“We have a tall task ahead of us and it’s going to take each and every one of us to get through this together and get to the place we want to be,” said Apostle James Sears III.

Amarr was shot and killed after trying to break up a fight on June 6 in the school parking lot.

“They can kill a peacemaker, but they can’t kill peace,” Sears said in a speech.

The community marched down 23rd Avenue S to Garfield High School, where a memorial now lies for the young teen.

“Smiling, beautiful, always gave me a hug. Always soft-spoken. Amazing kid,” said Sandra Hebert.

Hebert told KIRO 7 she’d known Amarr for years. She was at the school on that horrific day.

“So, I pull in the school and as soon as I pull in and open the door I see Amarr. And I just immediately went into prayer, letting him know I was there. You’re not alone, you have family here,” Hebert explained.

Her teen son and Amarr were good friends, and both attended Garfield. It’s become a heartbreaking realization for the Hebert that Amarr won’t be there next year.

“It’s definitely really close to home and so now it’s sad that I have to have conversations about when you see things happening, go get someone,” she said.

Many people called for action against gun violence.

Mark Rivers, Deputy Director for Community Pathways, says this is also about building genuine relationship with the youth and guiding them down the right path.

“You’re gonna answer the phone at 2 in the morning. You’re gonna take them to get something to eat. You’re gonna listen when they need somebody to listen. And then they’re gonna trust the advice you give after that,” said Rivers.

Students created a GoFundMe to help raise money to improve his school’s security. He said he is currently talking with the school principal and Parent Teacher Student Association on how the funds would be used going forward. If you’d like to help, please click here.

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