ROANOKE, Va. – Nearly 200 people gathered in Roanoke Wednesday night to remember the life of 8-year-old Camden Brown. His family says he accidentally shot and killed himself with an unlocked gun at a friend’s house two days prior.
A community is in mourning, suffering and struggling to understand why. Camden Brown, whose nickname was Stink, leaves a hole in the lives of many.
“Camden was able to touch everybody’s hearts, and have everybody come out here to celebrate his life, it’s good to know the community is with us,” his aunt Jeannell Jackson said.
Jackson led the vigil at Fallon Park. There they remembered the little boy, sharing favorite memories and thinking about his magnetic personality.
“His favorite color was red, he liked cars and trucks and things of that nature. He loved to dance, dancing was his thing. TikTok, if you go on TikTok I can guarantee you can find him anywhere,” Jackson said.
The tragedy is weighing hard on not only adults but the community’s youngest members. Camden’s friends and classmates are coping with the loss. Staff from local schools were there to lend support as were school resource officers who know these students are hurting.
“Kids shouldn’t have to deal with stuff like this, and we don’t ever want nobody’s family to deal with stuff like this. But again, when trauma hits and life happens, we have to be a resource or a source back to these families,” Roanoke City Sheriff’s Office school resource officer Antonio Hash said.
The Roanoke Police Department has released few details citing the ongoing investigation. But Jackson said Camden was at his friend’s house and the accidental shooting stemmed from an unlocked gun. As a gun owner herself, she said it’s critical that guns be locked up to prevent this from happening to anyone else.
“This is one of the toughest things that you ever could imagine to go through, to get a phone call letting you know that your nephew shot himself is just, there’s no words,” Jackson said.
A GoFundMe set up in Camden’s honor to help cover funeral expenses has surpassed $13,000.