GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The mother of 16-year-old murder victim said she wants her family's heartbreak to be a lesson for teens about the consequences of violence. Bridgette Jones said she's tired of seeing the community lose its children to the streets.
With candles and teddy bears, friends showed their love for Ny-Gel Poole. They said he was always good for a laugh.
"Ny-Gel, he was a clown. Everybody likes him," said Dalentez Brice, friend. "Not to many people didn't like him."
Chris Brown said, "He had a good sense of humor. I mean if he came around, you just knew you were about to laugh. If you're in a bad mood, he would turn your day around."
Brown and Brice were among dozens of students at Cafe Climb in Gulfport who wanted to pay tribute to their classmate. Relatives said Poole was pursuing his high school diploma and studying construction.
Poole's mother stopped by the makeshift memorial at the spot on 19th Street where her son was shot. She told his grieving classmates they have a choice to make between living right or dying in the streets.
Jones had to make the decision to take her son off of life support. She told his friends, "No one should have to bury their child, Nobody. It doesn't heal us. It destroys us. We're doing what they want us to do. Kill each other."
"If you want to be on the streets, that's because that's what you want to do," Jones said. "But nobody is designed to be on the streets. You were put here for a purpose. That's to make something out of yourself. So I'm asking and begging and pleading with y'all, the violence is going to have to stop".
Jones said her prayer is that by telling her story, it will keep another mother from having to bury her child .
"The violence needs to stop because we are losing our children to the streets and the streets is destroying them. It's taking them away from us," said Jones. "I know they're good kids. When they are on the streets, they are led in a wrong path. But they can be corrected."
Brice said, "She was telling the truth. We do lose a lot of young people especially to the streets."
"All these shootings. It's a lot of people being lost to the streets," said Brown. "It just goes to show you you can't take life for granted. Anything can happen."
Poole's mother said he and Kobe Augustine, the teen charged in his murder, have known each other since they were toddlers. She said her son and Augustine had been in a fist fight earlier in the day before the shooting.