Hundreds gathered at a Lake Charles Walmart Friday night to celebrate the life of 15-year-old Melanie Lyons, who died after being stabbed in the store last weekend.
Melanie's brother, Lawrence Senegal, said he was, "really trying to be happy because that's who she is. She wouldn't want me to be sad. This ain't a sad person. Long live my sister and I'm going to be happy for her."
Walmart employees joined Lyons' loved ones to light candles, sing, and release balloons in her honor, KPLC reports.
“I’m hurt as a cousin, but I’m hurt as a mother," said Lyons' cousin Whitley Richard. “At the end of the day, no one wants to bury their child - nobody. To see her come out of Walmart on a stretcher, with no life, I can’t imagine no one going through that.”
Many there said she was a "legacy" and should never be forgotten.
Calcasieu Parish Sheriff deputies were called to the grocery store around 7:30 p.m. last Saturday and learned that several young girls were fighting in the store. During the fight, deputies say 15-year-old Lyons was stabbed. She was taken to a hospital where she later died. Sheriff Tony Mancuso said the girls allegedly stole knives from the store to stab the victim, adding the entire case was recorded on social media, with videos, posts, and pictures that the sheriff called "very disturbing."
Four girls have been arrested in connection with the incident, one with second degree murder and the other three with principal to second degree murder.
Mancuso held a press conference Sunday where he said all law enforcement will be aggressively enforcing curfews, but added, "This is not something we can police our way out of. I just don't feel like this is a police matter. This is a parenting issue. We're going to take some aggressive steps."
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