By Melissa Klaric
Herald Staff Writer
SHENANGO VALLEY —
“What lessons have we learned in the past year?”
That question was brought up more than once at a memorial service Monday for Sharon teen L’Angelo “Lee Lee” Crumby Ford at his family’s church in Farrell.
The day marked a year since Lee Lee was shot and killed at a gathering of young people in Sharon.
About 50 of Lee Lee’s friends and family came together in Greater Mount Zion Church of God in Christ in Farrell to reflect on Lee Lee’s life and the lessons learned as a result of his death.
The night featured a slide show of pictures and an open mic for anyone who wanted to speak.
“This is a reflection of love,” said Terrence L. Crumby, Lee Lee’s father,.
Pastor Tyrone T. Steels and Rev. Terry Harrison, along with other adults urged kids to put an end to violence by getting rid of guns.
“There’s a lesson here: We don’t have to lose anyone else.”
Steels told teens to let their voices be heard and to stand up against violence.
“I would like to see more of gun violence stopping,” said Marcell Chambers, youth president of the local chapter of NAACP. “Youth in church and off the streets.”
That fateful night last January, Jontae Barnes, 20, of Sharon, took a revolver to the gathering and was handling it. Lee Lee grabbed at it and it went off.
Barnes pleaded guilty in June to involuntary manslaughter and carrying a firearm without a license and was sentenced to 2 years less one day in Mercer County Jail.
He said at his sentencing that he did not know why he had a gun.
“These weren’t accidents,” Mercer County Common Pleas Judge Robert G. Yeatts said in September. “These were decisions.”
At Monday’s service, Lee Lee’s family and friends cried openly as they prayed with Steels for an end to guns and bad decisions.
The memorial was a tearful and emotional service attended not only by Lee Lee’s father, but also his mother, Donna Ford, and his brothers, Allen Mychael Jackson, Anthony Jackson, Christopher Ford, Tevin Ford, and Zion Harper.
“We love and miss Lee Lee. He will never be forgotten,” said Lee Lee’s cousin, Brie Wilkins, 19.