Edgewood vigil held for slain 20-year-old


One by one, friends, neighbors and relatives of Kevin Harold Rowlette came last night to a patch of Edgewood sidewalk, streaming in to the sound of prayer and cries for salvation steps from where the 20-year-old was shot to death a week ago.

Holding candles, they vowed to take back their community.

"I want you to look around and see the people in the community who care for you," the Rev. Tony McDonald of Fountain of Life Fellowship Church told Rowlette's mother. "We're all in this together. Let's help each other."

About 100 gathered at the site, a day after Rowlette's funeral, to rally a community that has been shaken by recent crimes and to promote religion as a way to steer youths from trouble.

Afterward, they placed flowers and candles on the spot where Rowlette died.

"It's shocking," said a classmate, India Hoyt, 19, who brought a poster board inscribed with a poem. "It's too close to home."

Rowlette was shot in the face in a daylight attack July 12 on the front lawn of a townhouse less than a half-mile from the Southern Precinct station of the Harford County Sheriff's Office.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Kyvelle Jamaas Martin, 22, who is accused of shooting Rowlette after a dispute. Martin remained at large last night.

The killing has renewed fears in a community that has been rattled by violence -- a problem about which people have been made aware there since the December 2004 shooting death of a 37-year-old father of nine.

"The atmosphere is changing out here," said Rowlette's father, Gerald Abdullah Hunter, 52, of Northeast Baltimore. "There are influences out here coming together, and when those influences come together, you see things such as this."

Last night's vigil focused on unity and promoting religion as a diversion for troubled youths.

A spokesman for the sheriff's office said earlier in the day that assistance from the community will be crucial in making an arrest.

"It's up to them to provide information, leads, tips, whatever, to support law enforcement in tracking down those responsible," said spokesman Robert B. Thomas.

Rowlette had been awaiting an October trial on charges of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and cocaine, resulting from a March incident in which he was pulled over in a traffic stop, according to court records.


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