MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A community came together for a candle light vigil Monday night to remember teenage brothers killed in an apparent murder-suicide.
Family says Steven Odeus, 14, shot and killed his brother Stanley Blanc, 16, then turned the gun on himself. According to relatives, the boys were fighting over clothing.
Officials said the shooting occurred just after 11 p.m. near on NE 71st Street and 2nd Avenue in Little Haiti.
“It started off as a small petty argument over clothes that escalated into a fight,” said Marc Blanc, the victims’ brother.
“Stanley wanted to wear Steven’s clothes, Steven didn’t want him to,” said Kedner Louis, a family friend.
The argument, according to Blanc, began inside the family’s apartment at the New Haven Gardens public housing complex. He said family members separated the two, but the fight flared-up again outside.
“Right before my eyes my brother just shot my other brother,” said 18-year-old Mark Blanc who says he witnessed the shooting. “I heard my second brother die because he shot himself,” said Blanc.
After Odeus shot his brother, Blanc said he ran across the apartment complex and took his own life in the parking lot.
Dozens of family members, friends and neighbors prayed for the boys at a vigil Monday, they set up two memorials with teddy bears and balloons at the spots where the two teenage brothers died.
“I feel like a part of me is missing.. they were like little brothers to me,” said Tyquane Williams, a friend of both boys. “I love Y’all, you will always be in my heart and I will never forget y’all.”
Stanley’s girlfriend said he was attending an alternative school in Miami and loved to play football. Family said Steven was scheduled to graduate from junior high in a promotional ceremony at Horace Mann Middle School next month.
“In my mind, I think he didn’t really mean to” said Blanc. “That’s blood, nobody wants to kill their own brother. At the same time I got mixed feelings about a lot of stuff right now.”
Blanc said he feels grief and guilt, saying he wishes he could have done more to save his brothers.
“I’ve been crying a lot,” said Blanc. “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and I want people to know, love your kids, love one another, don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Blanc said he does not know how his 14-year-old brother got a hold of a gun.
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