'His life mattered.' Vigil held for slain Mount Vernon ninth grader

Zyaire Fernandez, a ninth grader who studied at the STEAM Academy, was remembered as good student, a good basketball player and someone who knew he wanted to be successful.

Lee Danuff

Mar 17, 2023, 9:49 PM

Updated 394 days ago

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Family and friends of Zyaire Fernandez held a vigil Friday night in Mount Vernon outside the apartment complex where the 14-year-old was fatally shot last week.
Fernandez, a ninth grader who studied at the STEAM Academy, was remembered as good student, a good basketball player and someone who knew he wanted to be successful.
Tara Williams said she was on top of her son about getting to school on time, but a week ago he was late like so many others have been.
"I seen the ambulance and I said, 'Oh no, there's been another shooting," Williams recalled as she was on the phone with her daughters.
"His godmom came out and said, 'Tara, I think that was Zyaire,' and at the same time my daughter said, 'Mom, that was Zyaire," she continued. "His life mattered."
City and state leaders and violence intervention coordinators were also in the courtyard calling for action to end the violence in the community.
Fernandez's accused killer, 21-year-old Tyrese Coghiel, is charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon in his death.
His family said they were thankful to the first responders and those responsible for that arrest, but it does not bring Fernandez back.


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