MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Loved ones gathered Friday night to mourn the loss of a teen who was gunned down on a trip back home to South Florida for a family fest.
It was a celebration of life at Gibson Park for Malcolm Nicholas III.
The 19-year-old basketball standout, set to pick a college, was shot and killed Sunday on an Overtown Street.
“He had a lot of friends. I’m pretty sure that he was with someone when this happened to him that night and right now my family just wants justice,” said Tia Kemp, the teen’s aunt.
Nicholas III, back in town from a Tennessee basketball academy, wasn’t supposed to be in Miami until the week of Thanksgiving. He was shot while walking home after visiting his grandmother.
“He was just a joker, witty kid, you know, a happy, happy little boy,” Kemp said. “He was definitely destined for greatness. He had a bright future ahead of him.”
The 19-year-old’s father – Malcom Nicholas Jr. – is a former Miami Senior High School basketball player and mentor to Miami Heat captain Udonis Haslem.
The grieving Miami Heat player posted a video on Instagram and wrote a heartfelt message.
This breaks my heart. I’m literally tearing up right now. This young man didn’t deserve this. He had his entire life ahead of him and basketball was his way out of this city. I’ve known his father all my life. I know he was a good kid. I know he kept his nose clean. His pops looked out for me as a youngster. Without his guidance I’m not here today. The opportunities I had to speak with this young man he was always receptive, positive, and well mannered. This shit gotta stop man!!! Idk how or what to do but I’m open to suggestions. My prayers go out to the family. Rest up lil Mook and big Mook I’m hear homie. I got u!!!🙏🏾☑️💯 #ripLilMook #towner4life
Nicholas III’s mother, who was not ready to speak on camera, told CBS Miami she don’t understand what happened.
“I want my baby back,” she said, crying.
Police have no leads, no witnesses.
“Right now we need some answers to why this happened to him and we just need this person off the streets because it could be your brother, he could be your son,” Kemp said.
If you have any information that can help police, please contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.