MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - It was a time for prayer in Moss Point Sunday as families with heavy hearts gathered at churches all across the city to pray for those involved in a local school fight that turned deadly Thursday.
Lorel Malone, 12, was injured in a fight with another seventh grade student at Magnolia Middle School. His exact cause of death has not been released. Church pastors said this is a time to unify and practice non-violence.
Songs of praise echoed through Lighthouse Church of the Apostolic Faith for the church's 57th anniversary celebration. Even in a time of joy, Bishop J. Eric Brown and his congregation are praying for an end to school violence in Moss Point.
"We have to come together as a community and look into our schools and get more involved in the schools. If there is a violence problem, we have to acknowledge it," Brown said.
Over at New Faith Missionary Baptist Church, Pastor Dennis Stevenson focused the Sunday school lesson on the community unifying to promote peace in schools.
"We try to do things separately, but we need to do things more unified in order to reach our kids, and we need to put Jesus first," Stevenson said.
Teen Nia McCrory said she needed that Sunday inspiration. She knew the two boys involved in the deadly fight and came to church heartbroken.
"I thought if I prayed it would help me pull through it, and I will feel better after awhile," said Nia.
As Moss Point begins to heal, both pastors want people to continue praying and be even be more positive role models in kids' lives to prevent any future tragedies.
"When situations arise, before they react take a deep breath and think about the consequences that come at the end. A lot of times we react instead of respond," Stevenson said.
"I tell my children here at the church, 'live your life that it will be pleasing to God'. Make your parents proud. Think about the morals your family has taught you, and don't let peer pressure pull you into somewhere you don't want to be. If we start enforcing those things we will have a better generation growing up," Brown said.
Moss Point Police Chief Keith Davis said the autopsy results for Malone should be available as early as Monday morning. His team is also continuing to interview witnesses in this case.