BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Family and friends gathered Thursday night to remember the life of Dante Barksdale, an activist and leader of the Safe Streets program in Baltimore who was killed in a shooting nearly two weeks ago.

Holding hands and joining in prayer, friends and loved ones of Barksdale honored the man they say was larger than life.

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“Barksdale is unique because he was sort of a big brother to those who felt left out, and that’s why we’re here to let him know he’s gone but not forgotten,” Rev. Willie Ray said.

Family members say Barksdale was an activist, a mentor and a trusted voice to so many in the community.

Barksdale worked with Safe Streets, an organization aimed at reducing violence. He was shot and killed nearly two weeks ago near Douglass Homes.

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“His whole legacy was built on love and forgiveness,” his brother told WJZ.

Members of Save Another Youth Stop the Violence Coalition and Safe Streets gathered for the vigil.

Although Barksdale is gone, family and friends say they plan to keep his legacy alive by building rec centers for kids to have a safe place to go.

“We must concentrate on making sure Baltimore becomes the city that it really is, not the city that it portrays,” Ertha Harris said.

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Police are still searching for whoever is responsible for Barksdale’s killing. They’re offering a $7,000 reward for information in this case.

Kelsey Kushner