Vigil tonight for Kingsessing homicide victim Shirkey Warthen

Shirkey Warthen Memorial
A memorial for homicide victim Shirkey Warthen was created last year on the block where he was killed. Credit: Rikard Larma

Family members and loved ones of homicide victim Shirkey Warthen – who was gunned down in Kingsessing exactly one year ago – will hold a vigil Wednesday in the young man’s memory.

The service will start at 6 p.m. on the 1200 block of South Ruby Street before moving on to the 5400 block of Florence Avenue, where Warthen was shot and killed.

The memorial was expected to wrap up around 8 p.m.

Warthen, who worked as a youth mentor at the Juvenile Law Center’s Juveniles for Justice advocacy program, was only 22 years old when he was killed.

Family members said at the time he was trying to stop an argument between his friend and the alleged shooter when the man opened fire on him.

Police last June caught up with the suspect in Virginia and arrested him, according to his sister Shanelle Warthen.

The case has not yet gone to trial.

“We do have an arrest – that’s a start,” Shanelle Warthen said Monday.

“It doesn’t ease anything because it’s like someone else is losing their child. It doesn’t really make things better.”

Warthen left behind his mother, a 6-year-old daughter, a fiancee, nine brothers and sisters, and 14 nieces and nephews.


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