CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn – Lavon Walker was first known on Kingston Avenue as a gang member.
“Crown Heights had its share of gun violence,” Derick Scott, co-founder of SOS Brooklyn said.
But Walker’s story was one of redemption. He became a co-founder of Save Our Streets Brooklyn.
“Lavon was like no other,” Scott said. “He would get people that were likely to shoot or get shot because of their high risk activity and help them create alternatives.”
And among the young men he worked with, Walker had a reputation for compassion and commitment.
‘When it was their birthdays they got cakes and I remember a young man crying because his name was on a cake that Lavon bought and this young man never had a cake in his life,” Scott said.
But Tuesday night, on the doorsteps of Save Our Streets, hundreds came together, stopped traffic to remember the man on vacation, murdered in Miami Beach. Some told stories that were personal.
“I would not be here right now if it wasn’t for boo,” one friend said.
The 30-year-old anti-violence activist was a father of two. His wife fought back tears.
Police say Walker was seated at the popular South Beach News Cafe when three men approached and one of them opened fire 7 a.m. Sunday. On Tuesday, in Miami, several persons of interest were taken into police custody.
Still, a thousand miles away in Brooklyn, Walker’s family was focused on peace and justice.
“Stop shooting, start living,” they said.