Slain 7-year-old Kevin Rodas remembered a year after his death

Family and friends remember child shot last year

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - On Labor Day family and friends remembered and honored a little boy killed one year ago during a birthday party.

Seven-year-old Kevin Rodas was one of five victims killed over Labor Day weekend in Charlotte, and police say they still don't know who killed him.

It was an emotional day for Maria Gladis Rodas Amaya, Kevin's mom. She speaks only Spanish. But even if you don't know her language, her pain is understandable.

Prayers offered at Kevin's grave talked about how his soul is in a beautiful place with God. Family and friends prayed for Kevin's soul and to support his family. His mother still misses him.

"He was my happiness. My son, they killed him because he didn't know to run. He told me every day, 'Mom, I love you so much.'  Every day he said, 'Mom, I love you so much.' I would say I love you more. He would say 'Me more. Me more. Me more.' He told me," Gladis Rodas said.

Kevin died at a birthday party while hitting a pinata.

"I told Kevin, 'run, run.' but he kept, he kept getting the candy," Josue Rodas, Kevin's cousin said, "He thought it was fireworks."

"I just ran. Me, my cousin and Brian we just having a race all the way to the door when the shooting started," said Cristian Rodas, Kevin's cousin.

Kevin's cousins escaped the gunfire. They think about him all the time.

"Like every night, every weekend, every day," Cristian Rodas said.

The kids still played at the cemetery Monday. They also counted to three and released green and white balloons in the air.

"Especially green, because green is his favorite color," Diana Calderon said.

With tears in her eyes, Kevin's mom is asking anyone who knows anything about his murder to speak up.

"Please realize the pain I am suffering," she said.

Gladis and her daughter released balloons at the cemetery too. She yelled how much she'll never stop loving him.

Kevin's grave reads in Spanish, "Mommy will never forget you."

Monday night they held a vigil with candles. A year ago a party in the dark took her son's life, this night she lit up the sky in his honor.

Police said last week this case is wide open. You're asked to call police with any information you have about this investigation.

There is a reward of $15,000 for information that leads to an arrest in Kevin Rodas' case. Crime Stoppers is 704-334-1600.

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