UPDATE: 12-year-old shot at funeral service dies

UPDATE: An official at the Chatham County Coroner’s office has confirmed that John Cooksey, 12, passed away late in the evening on Feb. 5.

John attended Oglethorpe Academy. A family friend says he was an active student, athlete — and a great dancer.

A 15-year-old has been arrested for his murder. For more on that story, visit here.

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Hundreds from the Savannah community gathered tonight for a rally hoping to bring awareness to the violence in the city.

Not only was the rally to stop the violence it was to provide strength and support for the family of 12-year-old John Cooksey who is fighting for his life at Memorial Health.

Police say John was shot Saturday while at a funeral service for Ricky Boyd, a murder suspect killed during a confrontation with police on January 23.

According to family, Boyd and Cooksey are related.

“We cant win for losing. It ain’t no wrong in right. We gotta stop the violence in Savannah Georgia this is stupid. We killing each other for no reason and we want to blame everyone for our failures when it’s us,” Flex Alexander says. “And let alone I can count three kids that have been shot or died in this city due to gun violence. And it has nothing to do with these kids they’re innocent- what if it was yours.”

Alexander was just one of the hundreds in attendance tonight who has a message to spread. Others who didn’t know John or his family organized the event and welcomed the community.

Meezy Indastry or “Meezy”, local Savannah music artist, says he saw the post about John on Facebook. He instantly thought of his own kids and what he could do to help.

“I never knew who it was. It kind blew past my head. But when I find out the dude was 11-years-old that’s when it started cutting me,” he said.

He helped by organizing the rally today and bringing the community to love and support the family. He also asked those in attendance to wear Johns’ school uniform color- burgundy.

“Let’s support him. Let’s show love lets fight with him. Let’s not just sit in our house, or post on Facebook and say we hope he pull through. Nah, let’s go down here to this hospital, let’s put in some action,” Meezy says.

They acted by praying in a nearby parking lot then marching to the Children’s Hospital at Memorial Health where John has been unresponsive since he was shot on Saturday, according to Minister Todd Rhodes.

Rhodes has been a family friend for years and a minister for more than that. He knows first hand what it means to lose a child, as his was accidentally shot at just 3-years-old.

“John does it all. John draws. John plays sports. Basketball, Football. John with the Jitter Boys. If you think Michael Jackson can dance you need to see this young man. He really gets down,” he said smiling from ear to ear thinking about John.

But the family is asking for one thing — for John to breathe.

“Please no doubt, the family does not want doubt. They want firm belief. You know the word of God, it’s rich and it’s true and it’s power,” Rhodes said.

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