Friends and family of 16-year-old Elijah Wedington gathered Monday afternoon to build a small memorial of flowers and balloons at the street corner where he was stabbed and killed late Sunday in downtown Lockport.
They found his blood still spattered on the sidewalk near the intersection of Pine Street and Heritage Court.
Police say Wedington, of Buffalo, was fatally stabbed during a fight involving a large group of people.
“(I’m) just shocked,” said Rashar Payne, 18, of Lockport, who helped set up the memorial and said he’s known Elijah for five to six years. “You’re not promised tomorrow.”
Police were called to the scene at 10:45 p.m. and found a large group of people fighting, Lockport police said Monday.
Emergency personnel attempted to administer first aid, but Wedington died at the scene, according to Detective Lt. Todd A. Chenez.
City of Lockport Police released few details of the incident that led to Wedington's death. Police Monday afternoon were still investigating, as Niagara County Sheriff’s K-9 teams swept the city’s canal locks area.
Payne said he went to the scene Sunday night after hearing that Wedington had been stabbed.
“I couldn’t think,” added Payne, a recent Lockport High School graduate. He recalled Wedington as a funny, humble person.
“He used to cook me food,” Payne said.
Payne and another teenager in the area said Wedington had most recently been living in Buffalo, but had previously attended Lockport schools.
The memorial consisted of a few bouquets of flowers, a heart-shaped ornament of flowers, a candle and two balloons.
Someone with a marker wrote on one balloon, “RIP ELIJAH Fly High.”
Payne took photos of the memorial on Monday, and sat for a few moments, silent, looking at the blood-stained sidewalk.
Ashley Hathaway, 15, of Lockport, visited the memorial Monday afternoon. Hathaway said Wedington was like a brother to her.
“He was always a good person. He was a good friend,” said Hathaway, crying.
She met Wedington while he was still living in Lockport. Hathaway said she didn’t know what happened Sunday night.
Payne and other friends planned to gather Monday night at the site to remember Wedington.
Lockport police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call Chenez at 716-439-6718 or the department’s anonymous tip line at 716-439-6707.
News reporter Aaron Besecker contributed to this story.