GRAND CROSSING — About 7 p.m. Saturday, a crowd gathered at a makeshift memorial at the mouth of the alley at East 77th Street and South Langley Avenue.
People took turns signing a poster that read "R.I.P. Clifton." They formed a circle, bowed their heads and prayed.
They prayed for Clifton "Manny" Barney, a 17-year-old who was gunned down near the alley Friday night.
Clifton, of the 7800 block of South Evans Avenue, died on the pavement after being shot repeatedly in the chest about 7:25 p.m. Friday, police said.
A shooter got out of a black car, opened fire on Clifton as he walked down the street and fled, according to Officer Amina Greer, a police spokesman.
The teen was one of three people killed by gunfire overnight Friday.
Almost 24 hours later, family members and friends stood where Clifton's body was found and cried over what they called a senseless death.
Arlene Scott said her son hung out with a rough crowd and may have identified with a gang to fit in, but she said he was not a violent person.
"That's not him at all," Scott said Saturday. "That's my baby, my youngest child and only son."
Family and neighbors said Clifton identified with a group that called themselves the "Hitzsquad." They said the group was at odds with other cliques in the area.
Scott said she believes her son's death was a retaliation for another teen who was killed in a restaurant nearby on May 13. Police said they could not confirm that claim Saturday.
Cherrylon McComb, Clifton's cousin, said the teen was shy, family-oriented and had a spirit like "a loving little boy."
"He loved his little cousins," she said. "He was just like a big kid around his little cousins, more like a 12-year-old than a 17-year-old."
Scott said she worried about her son being picked on by young men in the neighborhood. She said Clifton had two open-heart surgeries as a baby and could not do some things normal kids could do, like play sports.
"I used to have a lot of dreams of him getting beat to death," Scott said.
On Saturday, she said she felt a strange sense of peace about what happened but said she wants to see her son's killer brought to justice, especially after some men rolled past her son's memorial and intimidated her daughter.
"My daughter was down in the area dropping off balloons, and a car drove by with guys giggling and laughing, like that's what he gets," Scott said.