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Family, friends remember 13-year-old killed in Longmont shooting

Zay's parents said he was playing basketball with his 15-year-old cousin before someone shot at them.

LONGMONT, Colo. — Dozens gathered at a park Sunday to remember 13-year-old Zay, who died after, police say, he was shot near a basketball court in Longmont on Saturday

Zay's parents told 9NEWS their son was just playing basketball with his 15-year-old cousin before someone drove by and shot at them. 

Police said the drive-by shooting happened just before 1:50 p.m. near a basketball court at Kensington Street and St. Clair Avenue.

Longmont police arrested 19-year-old Yahir Solis of Lafayette on murder and attempted murder charges. Zay's parents said they didn't know him.

Zay was taken to the hospital and died. His 15-year-old cousin was shot in the leg. He's now out of the hospital and, using crutches, attended a vigil at the park with friends and family on Sunday.

RELATED: 19-year-old suspect arrested in Longmont drive-by shooting, faces murder charges

There's a growing memorial next to the basketball court. Amanda Lopez didn't know Zay, but she stopped by to pay her respects and bring comfort to his parents. 

"That is what is heartbreaking for me too," she said. "Children can't feel safe."

Zay's grandmother brought a couple who lives across the street to the vigil. She told the crowd they comforted and held Zay and his cousin until medics got there. Zay's grandmother thanked them for showing him love in his final moments. 

This tragedy is difficult for many to comprehend, including 60-year-old Canelario Contreres. 

"What is wrong," he said. "They were just playing."

"My heart goes out to the family, his mother and his father," Contreres said. 

Zay's father told 9NEWS his son had just finished his first week of high school. He said Zay's 14th birthday would have been on Aug. 30. They had just sent out invitations to his party.


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