Hundreds of people on Friday afternoon gathered at Mount Carmel High School to pay their respects to Kevin Kennelly, a Beverly teen who was killed during a beach fight in Indiana.
Another teen, James K. Malecek, is accused of delivering the punch that led to Kennelly's death. But sources say Malecek was defending his sister against racial slurs and Kennelly was trying to stop the argument.
"It's a terrible situation for both familiies, and it's going to be hard to get over it and hopefully, with a lot of prayers and a good Lord, things will get by," said Mark Ferguson, a friend to the Kennelly family.
Kennelly, 17, was a student at Mount Carmel High School where he played on the varsity soccer and baseball teams. Loved ones earlier this week gathered at St. Barnabas to hold a prayer vigil for the teen, who, at the time, was hooked up to a ventilator and on life support.
Malecek, 19, posted $25,000 bond Thursday after turning himself into police. Those who know him said they were shocked by news of the charges, saying he is a devout Christian who planned to attend Texas Christian University in the Fall.
"There's nothing that anyone can say that would make it right. It's truly a tragic situation for everyone involved," said Kennelly's cousin, Ken Cuniff.
Funeral services for Kennelly are planned for Saturday at St. Barnabas Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his name to Mount Carmel High School.