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As Loved Ones Remember Slain 7-Year-Old, Search For Justice Continues

Dequante Hobbs lantern ceremony
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It’s been one month since a stray bullet entered a home in Russell, killing a 7-year old boy inside. To the world, he was Dequante Hobbs Jr. To his family, he was "DQ." On Thursday, family, friends and community gathered to remember him.

Ignoring wind and rain, dozens gathered under the highway next to the Great Lawn in Waterfront Park to release lanterns in remembrance of Dequante.

Christopher 2x, a community activist, helped organize the event. As he thanked everyone for attending, he also urged the community to be vigilant in finding Dequante’s killer.

“Nobody from any walk of life likes the whole idea of an innocent baby getting hurt like that and no answers,” 2x said. “These lanterns are symbolic. They’re about how he still flows. They’re about how he’s still illuminating life. They’re about the innocence of a child. They’re about seeking the unconditional justice that he deserves.”

Micheshia Norment, Dequante’s mom, wants justice.

Norment said Dequante was always happy, smiling and showing off his speakers. She imagines he would have loved Thursday's ceremony, which included fireworks to celebrate Fourth of July. It was Dequante's favorite holiday other than his birthday, she said.

Norment and Dequante’s dad will not be in Louisville for July 4th — they'll attend a celebrity event honoring Dequante in New Orleans. But she said Thursday’s ceremony is not the last in Louisville. She wants to celebrate Dequante every month.

“Today and every day is my son’s day,” Norment said. “We hope the person that did this gets what he deserves, and that’s what we’re praying on. Hopefully that person does turn himself in.”

Rashauna Ordway, Dequante’s cousin, remembers him as happy and uplifting.

“This by itself is just going to send a strong message, because we really cared about him. We loved him so much, he was just a sweetheart,” Ordway said. “We just want peace and justice, that’s all we want. We’re not asking for nothing else.”

Norment released the first lantern into the sky, then others followed. Some lanterns fell. Some, sparkled and dazzled brightly before being grounded by the rain. Others glided on, floating west toward the river, not far from Dequante’s home.

As the lanterns floated away, children chased after them.

"Bye-bye, I love you, DQ," they said. "We love you, DQ.”

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.