Community remembers 13-year-old killed in second degree murder case
COLUMBIA – Family and community members came together to remember the life of 13-year-old Dajion A. Harris Thursday at his family’s home on Rice Road in Columbia.
Police say Harris died Sunday after Cameron White, 19, shot and killed him.
Family and friends celebrated Harris’ life at a candlelight vigil held in the family's front yard. They filled the lawn with balloons, posters and lite candles.
“Nobody is taking this well at all,” Harris’ grandmother Patty Booth said. “How can you? How can you take it well? A 13-year-old child was taken for no reason at all.”
Prosecutors filed formal charges against White Monday, charging him with second-degree murder and armed criminal action.
According to the probable cause statement, White told police he and the victim "were getting high" when the victim showed White two guns. Court documents quote White saying both were "playing" with guns when the victim said to shoot him.
"And I just did, like that, and the gun just shot him, and I shot him in the head and he dead," White said, according to the probable cause statement.
At the vigil, Reverend James Gray spoke to the crowd. He explained the crime and violence Columbia has experienced in the past several months has to stop.
He also passed around his hat, taking donations from the crowd to try and support Harris' family.
“This is my family,” Revered Gray said. “All of them are my family. I come out here to say we got to come together. It’s about loving one another.”
Booth said if Harris were still alive, he would have eventually become a star football player or basketball player. He was just getting started on his athletic career, which appeared very promising, she said.
“It’s a tragic loss, and we are going to miss him forever,” Booth said.
White is in Boone County Jail on a $100,000 bond cash only.
Columbia police said in a press release, officers responded to a report of a shooting just before midnight and found a victim with a serious gunshot wound on Saturday. He was taken to a trauma center and was pronounced dead at around 4 a.m. Sunday.
"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of this young man who has been taken from them and our community much too early," Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones said in the release.
Harris attended Oakland Middle School, and Michelle Baumstark, community relations director for Columbia Public Schools, said earlier this week the school would have counselors available to students and staff.