The 17-year-old, who died Feb. 14 after a police-involved shooting at his home, was remembered by Tia Howard, the vigil organizer, as a “good-natured, loving kid.”
The light from four candles illuminated a picture of the teen, which sat on a table adorned with flowers and a memory box covered with hand-written messages. Somber music drifted from a nearby van as friends and family lit candles and began the vigil.
Ken Yates, the park manager, spoke first.
“Christopher was a great kid. He was polite and always helped me out around here. He played with all the kids in the neighborhood and was a down-to-earth child,” he said. “I love him to death; he was a sweet kid. May he rest in peace and be with God.”
The crowd stood in a semi-circle around the table, filling the narrow street in front of Roupe’s home.
Emily Lynch, an English teacher from Woodland High School where Roupe attended, came to show support for the family.
“This is sad. It is just sad,” Lynch said.
Stephanie McKee was emotional as she held her candle and listened to neighbors share stories about Roupe.
“I rode the bus with Christopher. I didn’t really know him but, what I did know of him, he was a sweet kid. This has broken my heart,” she said.
The incident, which led to Roupe’s death, occurred while two Euharlee police officers were serving arrest warrants at Roupe’s home for his father and a female. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Roupe opened the door holding what appeared to be a weapon and a female officer shot him. He bled to death before emergency crews arrived on the scene.
The incident is under investigation by the GBI. An expected completion date has not been released.