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Vigil honors memory of murder victim
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From left, Pastor Wade Williams of Victory Christian Church in Tracy joined hands with Tanci Gitter, who is the mother of the late Derrick Gann, and others attending the memorial event. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT

A year ago, Derrick Joseph Gann was gunned down and killed while walking down Yosemite Avenue near Powers Avenue.

His memory was honored Wednesday with a candlelight vigil in the parking lot of Farmer’s Insurance Agency next to the 7-Eleven Store.

Reminiscent of a year ago, many of Gann’s family and friends attended the event which, according to Pastor Wade Williams of the Victory Christian Church in Tracy, was a celebration of the 19-year-old Manteca resident’s life.

“He made an impact on our lives,” said Williams, who again honored the legacy of Gann.

 His parents, Derrick Sr. and Tanci Gitter, were also there.

“It’s still tough dealing with the loss of Derrick – even a year later,” Gitter said.

Williams, who is also chaplain for the Stockton Ports Class-A baseball team, hopes that this tragic event will help bring a halt to the violence in the city.

“Who is praying for Manteca?” he said. “Is it the church?

“The Bible says we are the church. We can make a difference if we’re empowered.”

Derrick Gann isn’t gone, according to Williams.

“We’re standing here as proof that he’s still here in each and every one of us. Through him, we can make a difference (in our community). And then we can share the life of this young man,” he said.