A time to celebrate for Gayle and his mother, as he graduated from Newburgh Free Academy in June
NEWBURGH – A celebration of Keyshan Gayle’s life is being held today (Saturday), three days after he was shot in the back and killed on a Newburgh city street.
The 18-year-old was a 2016 graduate of Newburgh Free Academy.
His obituary said his “vibrant smile made him the kind of person whose friendship everyone coveted. He had a naturally respectful disposition that won over everyone he knew, and he often went out of his way to make others feel welcome and loved.”
Meanwhile, a local resident, Schnekwa McNeil, has started an online petition to the Newburgh City Council seeking 1,000 signatures to light up the city with key cameras, the small cameras on key fobs and other unobtrusive devices.
As of Saturday morning, over 700 people had signed the change.org petition including Gayle’s mother, Jennifer Bediako. “My son was an innocent child who was gunned down by a coward, with a single shot to the back!” she wrote. “Please help my Keyshan Gayle’s legacy live on forever.”
City Councilman Torrance Harvey also signed the petition. “I’m signing this petition because as a father and husband and educator in this city. I agree!! I also agree as a City Councilman as well!” he wrote on his Facebook page.
McNeill wrote on her petition that Gayle “was not the intended target.” She said his “senseless death” has affected everyone in the community.
“The cameras in the area were not working and there is poor lighting as is the case with the entire city. Darkened streets and non-working video surveillance,” she wrote. “A lit city may prevent crime and the working cameras will definitely be a KEY witness to any crime committed.”