CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - Dozens of people gathered to remember the life of a Steak ‘n Shake employee shot and killed while working last week.
Darnell Harris is a hailed a hero in his community. Police say he died trying to save the lives of others during an armed robbery at the fast food restaurant. Police say Harris fought the gunman, trying to knock the weapon away.
"He died as a solider though, I commend him for that, for protecting others in there," said Gemini Boyd, co-founder of United Neighbors of Charlotte.
Friends and family lit candles to pay tribute to his life and sacrifice around 8 p.m. on July 15, nearly a week after the deadly shooting.
"We want you to remember that a man got up and went to work," said Charles Robinson, co-founder of United Neighbors of Charlotte. "And a thief came in and stole his life."
- Second suspect charged in deadly Steak 'N Shake armed robbery
- Steak 'n Shake shooting suspect, convicted for role in 2011 murder, was out on parole
- Cell phone video shows deadly shooting aftermath
- Steak 'N Shake employees devastated after co-worker killed in armed robbery
- Steak 'N Shake employee killed in armed robbery in south Charlotte
The 38-year-old was shot and killed last Tuesday when he tried to whack the weapon out of the gunman's hands.
"We lost a jewel. Not everyone is that caring," another neighbor told FOX 46.
United Neighbors of Charlotte and Team True Blue gathered at Camp Greene park for Monday night's vigil.
Will Adams Sr. says there have been too many murders this year and shares the Harris family grief. He too lost a child to gun violence.
"I'm past angry, I'm past mad, it just senseless," said Adams.
City Councilman Tariq Bokhari started a Go Fund Me page, raising funds for Darnell Harris' funeral. Businessman Doug Lebda pledged to match funds up to $20,000, but some in the community say it's too late.
"Why not be in front of that so you won't be making a donation for a funeral?" said Boyd.
At the Steak ‘n Shake, a customer was also shot during the attempted robbery and the suspect, Eddie Doh, was shot by police. Doh has been convicted of 14 crimes and was out of prison on probation for previous murder charges.
Now the 30-year-old and his accomplice Kiara Murphy are charged for killing a man who stood up to protect his community.
Doh's court date has not been set yet and Murphy's next appearance is scheduled for July 24.
"He committed the ultimate sacrifice standing up for somebody and Charlotte is now standing up behind this family," the neighbor said.
Friends and family will lay Harris to rest Tuesday at New Bethel Church. Visitation starts at 11 a.m. and the funeral starts at 12p.m.