Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mourners Gather at Site Where 7-Year-Old on Bike Was Struck, Killed in South St. Louis

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mourners Gather at Site Where 7-Year-Old on Bike Was Struck, Killed in South St. Louis

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS * At a vigil Tuesday night, the memory of 7-year-old Demond Moorehead's smile kept family, friends and neighbors smiling through tears.

"He always had a smile on his face," his mother, Johnika Davis, 28, said just before the vigil. "Even if he was quiet, he was smiling."

Demond was struck and killed by a vehicle just after 6:30 p.m. Sunday as he rode a bike out of an alley in the 300 block of Schirmer Street near Michigan Avenue, police said. A Jeep Commander SUV headed west on Schirmer struck the boy.

The alley is across the street from the old St. Boniface Catholic Church in the Patch neighborhood, on the southern edge of the city. Demond lived about a mile away in the 6300 block of Alabama Avenue.

About 50 people gathered at a memorial there at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to remember Demond, pray and offer their support to his family. Police blocked off the street for the vigil.

Demond loved to ride bikes and play with neighborhood kids and his cousins, Davis said. He was eagerly awaiting the arrival of a younger brother, who is expected in July, she said.

"I just wish he had a chance to see his little brother," she said to attendees. "He was so excited to play with him."

Demond's father, Jimmie Moorehead, said he would miss the "little things" about his son, who he said was a happy kid who loved to sing and dance and spend time with family.

"I would put on sunglasses and a hat, and he would want to put on sunglasses and a hat," he said.

Moorehead said he was still stunned at the loss of his son. "I didn't know when I woke up that morning that I would be burying my son the next day," he said. "He'll never again be there for me to love and to hold. I miss him."

Bradley and Angel Tutt, who heads the Patch Neighborhood Association, called the family Monday night to ask what they needed and immediately shared a link to a GoFundMe account set up to raise funds. The association placed teddy bears and ribbons at a memorial where Demond was hit and planned the vigil. The memorial includes a cardboard cutout of a Berensta in bear; the book series was one of Demond's favorites, family said.

"We wanted the family to know we're here for them," Bradley Tutt said after the vigil. …

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