Community remembers De’Arreis and Haeleigh at candlelight vigil
A candlelight vigil was held at the Diamondhead Community Hall to honor the families of the two teens who died in a shooting at a party in Bay St. Louis.
Families and friends of 18-year-old De’Arreis Smith and 16-year-old Haeleigh Stamper gathered around together to pray and mourn among each other.
A pastor and other speakers had a few encouraging words for the families to let them know they’re not alone during this difficult time.
Candles were lit for the teens towards the end of speeches as a way to show support for those who continue to grieve.
The lives of De’Arreis and Haeleigh will not be forgotten as some individuals shared stories about the two. De’Arreis Smith’s grandmother Jacqueline Gordon said, “We want everybody to know that we love them and we miss them and we really are advocates for them because our hearts ache because of the senseless crimes and the mass shootings. I can’t emphasize that enough, they should be here with us. They had promising futures.”
Due to the weather earlier in the day, the city had thoughts about moving the vigil to another day. However, just before the vigil, the rain stopped and a double rainbow appeared.