FREDERICKSBURG, Va. - Hundreds of people gathered Saturday to remember Michael Gray, a young man from Manassas killed nearly a week prior at a house party in Arlington.
Gray’s family estimates at least 500 people attended the memorial, saying extra chairs had to be brought because the church could only seat 475.
“The outpouring of love and support for us has been beyond helpful, beyond words,” Gray’s father, Russell Carreiro told the crowd.
Gray was remembered for his big heart, charisma and easy way of making friends. He grew up in Manassas and attended high school in Woodbridge.
“When you started Forest Park High School I was so worried about you,” Michael’s mother, Gretchen Carreiro said. “Would you make friends? Would you be able to navigate that big high school? But before we knew it, you had too many friends to count. We couldn’t keep up!”
“By the time he turned two, he was already partial to James Brown and Bob Marley,” said Gray’s grandfather, Michael Gray. “And Moms, how many times did he come in the house sashaying and singing ‘Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag?’”
After the memorial, friends and family continued the remembrance in Manassas, wearing shirts that read: “#WeAreMikeGray.”
A week before the memorial, Gray’s family says they had spent the day together, attending Gray’s younger brother’s basketball game. That night, Gray attended a party on North 29th Street, in the Williamsburg section of Arlington.
As he was leaving the party early Sunday, he was shot and killed, friends say by a man he had gotten in an altercation with earlier in the night.
Arlington Police have identified the gunman as 37-year-old Jason Allen Johnson of D.C. He’s still on the loose and believed to be armed and dangerous. Johnson is described as a black male, approximately 5-foot-5-inches tall and weighs 145 pounds. He has a distinctive tattoo on the right side of his neck. Police say they believe he could be in D.C. or Prince George's County.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.