More than 30 people gathered in Copley Square Friday night at a vigil to seek answers and honor a 22-year-old South End man who was shot and killed last month on Boylston Street.
Boston police found Ahmir Lee lying in front of Trinity Church just before 11:10 p.m. on Aug. 22 with gunshot wounds to the chest.
The man’s mother, Patricia Lee, sobbed Friday as she described to those at the vigil the nearly four weeks of silence since her son was killed. The ceremony was held on Boylston Street, where Ahmir was killed.
The morning after the shooting, Mayor Thomas M. Menino referred to the Back Bay slaying as a drug-related incident.
But Patricia Lee disagreed.
“He was not some drug dealer,” she said of her son, who was the father of two daughters. “He was a human being.”
Patricia Lee handed out cards at the vigil under the title, “In Ahmir’s Honor to end violence.” The cards urged people to register to “vote,” “speak out” on how a new mayor will end violence, and “stand up” and vote in the preliminary election on Sept. 24.
A crowd of emotional friends, family, and church members consoled Lee and one another as her family pleaded for anyone with information to talk to police.
“I don’t understand how we equate snitching with murder,” Ahmir’s mother said. “It blows my mind.”
Ahmir’s aunt, Alicia Bishop, shouted, “If it was your family member, you would want someone to snitch.”
Dave Zagunis, a member of Patricia Lee’s church, Congregation Lion of Judah, said that many members of the church came out to support her on Friday.
“We all feel frustrated that so little has been done in this case. We feel like it has been brushed aside,” he said, while holding one of the cards Patricia Lee handed out, which displayed a photo of her son.
A spokeswoman for Boston police, Cheryl Fiandaca, said Friday that the investigation into Lee’s death is ongoing.
“We understand the family’s frustration,” she said. “Homicide detectives are continuing to ask for the public’s help. Anyone who may have any information regarding this incident is urged to contact Crimestoppers.”
John M. Guilfoil, a spokesman for Menino, said Friday that the mayor sympathizes with the family.
“The mayor feels sincere compassion during this family’s time of grief knowing that nothing could ever return their son to them,” Guilfoil said. “He has asked the Boston Police Department to continually update the family on the status of their investigation.”
Lee’s mother urged attendees to get involved in their community in order to end violence.
She explained the importance of knowing who the mayoral candidates are and voting in the election.
“I want to engage kids in something positive,” she said. “I want them to know who their politicians are and what they stand for.”