CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - Daveion Perry has been indicted for murdering a teenager last week in Cleveland Heights. Sunny Patel, 15, was working at his family's Cleveland Heights fast food restaurant, Mr. Hero, when police say Perry gunned him down during a robbery.
Perry, 20, remains locked up on $1 million bond.
Friday evening, about 100 friends, classmates, and family members came together to remember Sunny Patel at a vigil. Pouring rain, wind and biting cold didn't keep them from honoring his memory outside of Mayfield High School.
"I think we're still in shock. I personally feel like I'm going to walk to his house and see him there or he's just at his friend's house and he'll be back soon," said Sunny's cousin Meera Patel.
She is 10 years older than Sunny and watched him grow up.
"I remember Sunny when we were teaching him how to walk and playing with him. I remember when he was born at the hospital and visiting. So it's just been hard," she said, wiping away tears.
She can barely put into words how much losing Sunny has devastated her family.
"We lost the person that always makes us smile, the one that is always there goofing around," she said.
Beneath all of the umbrellas, red T-shirts dotted the crowd. Sunny's close friends designed them. The color red stands for India's flag, the words on the front describe his personality and the numbers 58 on the back mark his birthday.
After the vigil, family and friends walked to the stadium where the crowd held a moment of silence in Sunny's memory before the football game. Meera Patel can't believe her cousin is gone at such a young age, but she's proud of the legacy he left behind.
"He was kind, hard-working, caring, loving, he's someone that can't be replaced. There's no one like him and I don't think there ever will be," she said.
A stranger started a GoFundMe account and raised over $35,000 for Sunny's funeral expenses. His family tells me they are fortunate to be able to pay for that themselves and they will be donating the money and the proceeds from the T-shirts to several community organizations. If you would like to buy a T-shirt for Sunny, you can call Dominik Pinzone at 440-903-8224.
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