“Can’t imagine the grief:” Loved ones gather for vigil after 3-year-old boy fatally shot in the chest

RACINE -- A funeral will be held Wednesday, July 19th for a three-year-old boy shot and killed in his apartment in Racine. On Sunday, July 16th, loved ones gathered for a vigil in his memory.

Jere'Miah Pitt

At last check, a person of interest remains in police custody in this case. There's no word at this point whether charges will be filed -- but as the investigation continues, those who knew and loved three-year-old Jere'Miah Pitt say he won't soon be forgotten.

Officers were called to the home near 18th and Howe shortly before 6:30 a.m. on July 12th after it was reported that someone was found dead. Police say a three-year-old victim was located in the upper unit of the home with a wound to his chest. The initial call to police came from a family member, officials said.

A weapon was recovered.

A neighbor close to the family said two children lived upstairs with their single father -- a man she described as devoted to his children. She said there were a couple of people living in the lower unit as well. A memorial outside that home has been growing ever since, with balloons, posters, candles and toys left in the little boy's memory.

Vigil for Jere'Miah Pitt

Vigil for Jere'Miah Pitt

Sunday's vigil was organized by the Racine Interfaith Coalition.

"I care about this issue, not only care, but I am compelled to act with compassion," Linda Boyle, Interfaith Coalition co-president said.

Jere'Miah Pitt

At last check, Racine police said this case remains an active death investigation.

Those with the Interfaith Coalition said they typically host vigils for murder victims, but the violent death of a toddler has touched the hearts of many. They also wanted to comfort the family at a time when there are no answers to such tragedies.

"I'm a mother too. My daughter's grown up, but I can't imagine the grief a family would go through losing a three-year-old child," Tammy Hayward, Interfaith Coalition co-president said.

Faith leaders handed over a prayer shawl to Jere'Miah's mother, Lakia Russell, who spoke of her heartbreak and how she's trying to remain strong for her other children.

Vigil for Jere'Miah Pitt

Russell said the funeral is set for Wednesday, July 19th at St. Paul in Racine.

A GoFundMe.com account has been established to help pay for the service. CLICK HERE to access that account.