LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - 15-year-old Melanie Lyons drew a crowd of hundreds of friends and family celebrating her and gathering where she lost her life. Lyons was stabbed at a Lake Charles Walmart Saturday night.
“It can happened to anybody,” says Lawrence Senegal, who is the victim’s brother. “It happened to my sister on her Birthday.”
Walmart employees along with Lyons’ loved ones lit candles, sang and released balloons in her honor.
“I’m hurt as a cousin, but I’m hurt as a mother,” says Lyons’ cousin, Whitley Richard. “At the end of the day, no one wants to bury their child - nobody. To see her come out of Walmart on a stretcher, with no life, I can’t imagine no one going through that.”
Mixed with the pain and tears was also love and happiness.
“I’m really trying to be happy because that’s who she is,” says Senegal. “She wouldn’t want me to be sad. This ain’t a sad person. Long live my sister and I’m going to be happy for her.”
Many people at the vigil say Lyons was a legacy, which should never be forgotten or taken for granted.
“That’s my biggest input on all of this - to raise awareness and for kids to learn from this and do better in life,” says Senegal.
“Take this as her brother said because he was strong tonight, very strong, says Lyons’ cousin, Keri Edwards. “Take it as he said - as a lesson. Say, I remembered her.”