LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Family and friends of Ki'Anthony Tyus gathered at Waterfront Park to celebrate what would have been his 17th birthday.
Tyus, a young gunshot survivor, died in a crash following a police chase in 2018.
Loved ones remembered his life, as they dedicated a bench in his honor.
Family members describe Ki'Anthony as not only a son, grandson and brother, but also an activist and friend. Making sure people who went through similar experiences as him knew they were not alone.
Balloons floating in the wind, marking what would have been Ki'Anthony Tyus' seventeenth birthday.
"I wouldn't want to do anything else but to allow his day, the day you know that we come together and celebrate him," said Tina Tyus, Ki'Anthony's Grandmother.
Ki'Anthony was shot when he was nine-years-old after being caught in the crossfire of a drive-by.
Local activist Chris 2x said it was a long journey for Ki'Anthony.
"He went through several surgeries as a little nine year old, and had a steel rod in his leg for many months," said 2x, the Executive Director of 2x Game Changers.
Three years later in 2018, Ki'Anthony was killed in a car crash from a high speed chase, something family and friends said he accidentally got mixed in with.
Now, his grandmother Tina Tyus is celebrating a memorial at Waterfront Park to remind her of her grandson.
"When I need to come and get away. I have a place to come where I can sit and look at the river and be able to just memorize the things that went on during this time," said Tyus.
Tyus said seeing what her grandson had to go through so early in life pains her.
"I just ask them to let the kids grow. Put the guns down," said Tyus.
Chris 2x said the child he knew and loved had so much potential ahead of him.
"You wish you would still be here, and who knows what could have manifested over the last several years, four years to be exact," said 2x.
His grandmother wants parents to know one thing.
"Us parents need to step up and know where our kids are and what they are doing out here in the streets before the streets take your kids away from you," said Tyus.
Those balloons, now a symbol of the child they lost.