Classmates honor slain 12-year-old during school remembrance

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BRIDGEPORT -

Classmates of slain 12-year-old Clinton Howell celebrated the life of the seventh-grader at their school Friday.

Bridgeport-based anti-violence advocate group 'Connecticut Against Violence' organized the event at Bridge Academy. The group says the celebration of life was organized to uplift students.

Counselors and staff members were on hand to provide support to grieving students. 

"It was kind of hard for me to be here and sit here but I had to do it cause like--I did it for him," said Samayya Woolcock, a friend of Howell's.

The principal said he greeted everyone in his homeroom with a high five, hug or handshake. Howell's family was also in the audience, listening as the school community talked bout his smile, kindness and optimism.

“I’d give anything to get him back," said Cynthia Dawkins, his mother. "He hadn't even begun to live no life. He was only 12.”

"We're home with him, and we know who he is and how loving he is, but we didn't know that it extended into school as much as it did," said Howell's brother, Gamel Dawkins. "But today, it definitely meant a lot, I know, to my mom, to his father, to all of us."

"It's hard.. it's hard ... because it was senseless," said brother Gregory May.

The Bridgeport community is still reeling from Howell's death. Police say he was the unintended target of a drive-by shooting.

Police say they are close to making an arrest and have a person of interest in the case.

RELATED STORIES:

Councilman Newton: Bring ‘stop and frisk’ to Bridgeport 
12-year-old's death brings sense of urgency to gun-violence vigil in Stamford
Bridgeport police: Person of interest sought in fatal shooting of 12-year-old 
'I miss him:' Grieving parents mourn loss of 12-year-old son in Bridgeport  

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