OAKLAND, Calif. - An emotional prayer vigil was held Sunday night to remember an Oakland father who was gunned down in front of his children at a neighborhood park. The victim has been identified as 38-year-old Reuben Lewis.
Lewis’s mother said her son was a beloved family man and youth mentor. Lewis was at the park watching his son's football practice when he was killed.
Concordia Park in Oakland was filled with candles and heavy hearts as community members gathered Sunday to pray over a grieving mother and father who lost their 38-year-old son.
"My heart aches as I know yours does as well," said Oakland City Councilmember Loren Taylor.
Last Wednesday night at Concordia Park, Lewis was watching his son's football team when a man walked up and shot him in front of his children and a crowd of teammates with the Oakland Dynamites Youth Football Program.
"My heart aches for the 60 young men, young athletes who were out here and had to witness this tragic incident, their lives will never be the same," said Taylor.
The 36-year-old shooting suspect turned himself in. The suspect and Lewis knew each othe. No motive has been revealed.
"I know what it feels like to experience trauma," said Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong.
Armstrong lost his brother to gun violence. Wednesday's tragedy was seen as an attack on the entire community, he said.
"You deserve to live in a community where bullets aren't flying through your windows, where young people can play in the park," said Armstrong. "We were violated. We were violated in the worst way."
City leaders called on the community to stand up against the violence. The city of Oakland has seen a dramatic uptick in deadly shootings.
"This entire community will be healing with you," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
Lewis was a high school basketball coach and a former coach for the Dynamites. Loved ones said he shared a message of loyalty and love.
"He was trying to make a change, he was trying to make a difference," said his mother Sylvia Lewis.
Lewis leaves behind three young sons. A GoFundMe has been established to help support them. Counseling services have been provided to the young children at the park at the time of the shooting.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.