DENVER (CBS4) – Hundreds of people gathered on the football field of South High School Tuesday night to remember Davarie Armstrong, one of five young people killed during a recent five day stretch in Denver.
“It was absolutely the wrong place, wrong time and …he was just doing what any kid would do as far as trying to enjoy himself after being in the quarantine for 3 months,” said Ibn Shabazz, Davarie’s uncle. “And unfortunately, somebody else had different intentions.”
CBS4 met with Shabazz outside his nephew’s Denver home, where a memorial was growing for the 17-year-old.
“That’s not even all of it,” said Shabazz. “(The outpouring of support) has helped my sister a lot, it has helped me out a lot, just to know his impact on the city at such a young age.”
Armstrong not only excelled in academics but athletics as well and was on track to play college football. Beyond that?
“His heart, his smile, his joy, his poise, his demeanor as young man — was just not normal. He had a different spirit for sure, and I think that his impact on the city and his other peers and even adults as well I can’t fathom. I won’t be able to wrap my head around it,” said Shabazz.
Shabazz says the pain comes in waves. When he’s not grieving, he’s thinking about how to make a meaningful change.
“The issue is, trying to figure out how do we get to the furthest out kid? Because those are the kids who are out there causing the trouble and who are lost and misguided and who are hurt and who are broken. And they need an outlet,” he said.
Shabazz, a basketball coach for the Colorado Hawks, believes making meaningful change takes more than building a welcoming space for troubled youth.
“Our outreach is not what it should be right now. We cannot invite kids to come and be with us. It does not work. The kids who want to be with us? They’re coming because they want to be with us. The kids that don’t want to be with us? We’ve got figure out how to get with them. Those are the kids that we need to be touching.”
Here are the names of young people killed in Denver since July 6:
Tayvion Washington, 19, killed July 6
Kalani Hayter, 20, killed July 7
Xzavier Collier, 14, killed July 8
Moses Chaney Harris 15, killed July 8
Davarie Armstrong, 17, killed July 10