COLUMBUS (WCMH) – This is the longest Makenzi Ridley’s parents have ever gone without speaking with their daughter.
Ridley was 17 years old when she was shot and killed last week outside of the Far East Recreation Center.
On Wednesday, her family, friends, and many others who were close to her remembered her life at a vigil at the Retreat at Turnberry.
The parking lot was full as hundreds of people gathered around Makenzi’s family.
Everyone at the vigil knew Makenzi in some way and they don’t want her life to be forgotten.
Holding her graduation banner, wearing shirts covered in pictures of her, Makenzi Ridley’s friends calling for justice Wednesday night.
“We have to stop the violence,” said Ridley’s cousin, Arreon Ridley. “You all took the life of an innocent, sweet, loving, caring, little girl. She just graduated, she had a full head on her shoulders.”
Arreon Ridley is Makenzi’s first cousin. She joined hundreds wearing orange and white with matching balloons to honor the 17 year old, whose favorite color was orange.
“We’re going to continue to live for Makenzi,” Arreon Ridley said. “It’s going to be long live Makenzi forever.”
It was just six days ago when Makenzi was shot and killed during what police said was a large gathering outside the Far East Recreation Center. She had just graduated high school earlier this month. Her friends said she was the most supportive person and she always lit up the room.
“I just want you to know our fairy, our beautiful angel, guardian angel is all around us,” said Seneca Ridley-Turner, Makenzi’s mother. “She’s here right now.”
In the middle of everyone, Makenzi’s mother thanked her best friends for never leaving her side. She said her daughter touched countless lives, with the size of the crowd showing that, reaching out with a message to Makenzi when letting go of their balloons.
“I just want nobody to forget Makenzi because Makenzi wouldn’t forget nobody,” Arreon Ridley said.
Ridley-Turner said a lot of people have been coming to her with information about last Thursday night. She’s thanked them, but is also urging people to give that information to police. The lead detective in the case attended the vigil.