AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The community in Montbello came together on Sunday night to remember the life of 24-year-old Gayland Allen Jr. He is the young man whose remains were found by Aurora police after a missing person’s report had been filed.
“There’s always that question of why,” said Devon Allen, cousin of Gayland Allen Jr. “Why our cousin, son, you know?”READ MORE: New COVID-19 Spikes In Parts Of Colorado With Lower Vaccination Rates? Many Doctors Worried It Could Happen
Allen’s family told CBS4 he was a caring man who left an impact on everyone he met.
“Main thing about my son was his heart was big as gold,” explained Gayland Allen Sr., his father. “He helped people for no apparent reason whatsoever. Everybody loved him.”
Allen was reported missing on Dec. 30. Days later, the Aurora Police Department found him shot to death.
“That’s why because of the way he left his earth, nobody can understand,” his father said. “Because he wasn’t about the violence and things of that nature. He was a very caring individual.”
The young man’s impact on the community was clearly seen on Sunday night. A crowd of people gathered at the Montbello High School football field to remember Allen. For years the Allen family has been a pillar of support in Montbello. Gayland Allen Sr. said as a coach at the school, he has mentored young kids in the community for years, helping send them to college.READ MORE: 2 Seriously Hurt In Rural Weld County Crash That Involved 5 Vehicles
“You never think it’s going to happen to your own child but it has,” he told CBS4. “And people in this community understand the pain that I’m going through. Now, they’re here for me this time.”
At the vigil, candles were lit the young man’s memory. Tear were shed, as the family played country music, something they say Allen loved.
“This is real senseless that in just a moments time he was just ripped from us,” his mother Lisa Allen said.
Sunday night provided a chance for the community to remember the life of a young man taken too soon in an act of violence. The Allen family said they are thankful for the police response, and community support through this tough time.
“My namesake is gone, Gayland Jr. is gone,” Allen Sr. said. “The community has helped and supported me. It’s the biggest crutch you can have for emotional times like this.”MORE NEWS: Auto Repair Students Help Denver Police Tackle Growing Catalytic Converter Theft Problem
The Aurora Police Department have arrested and charged a 15-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy with first-degree murder in connection to the homicide investigation.