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Family, friends remember murdered 19-year-old

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Video from a candlelight vigil for Derrick Joseph Gann that was attended by family and friends.


POSTED July 28, 2012 1:26 a.m.

Family and friends of Derrick Joseph Gann met once again Friday for a candlelight vigil.

“Tragedy might have brought us here but love will keep us together,” said the Rev. Wade Williams, pastor of the Victory Christian Church in Tracy.

It was two years ago that the 19-year-old Mantecan was fatally gunned down while walking along Yosemite Avenue near Powers Avenue in the wee hours.

“You could have been anywhere tonight but you chose to be here,” said Williams, who was honored to be back for the candlelight vigil. “That shows me the respect and honor you have for this young man and his family.

“While he may not be here physically he’s here in our hearts.”

Gann’s legacy is his memory, according to Williams, who is also one of the chaplains for the Stockton Ports Class-A baseball team.

The large gathering took up the parking lots of Jacob Realty, Farmers Insurance Group, and All Driver Insurance.

Included were Derrick Sr. and Tanci Gitter – Derrick Gann’s parents – along with over dozen who rode in on their Harley-Davidson motorcycles, cranking out Old School tunes.

Meanwhile, the utility pole was adorned with flowers, balloons and other remembrances. Gitter, for example, put together a scrapbook of her late son while signs placed on-site read, “We Love and Miss You, Derrick.”

The candlelight vigil signified the coming together of people who shared the memory of a fallen loved one, Williams said.

“Arm to arm, hand to hand, with no weak link – we can come together and make a difference,” he added.

His hope is that this tragic event can help bring a halt to the violence in the city.

“(Derrick Gann) was born to make a difference,” Williams said.

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