Rockford family pays tribute to loved one after his accused killer is charged, 5 months later

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Ezekiel Ingram’s family held a candlelight vigil in his memory Wednesday evening. We spoke with family members who tell us the arrest is bringing a small sense of relief.

The family adds they can rest a little easier knowing justice has been served, but they still wish Ezekiel was here with them.

“It still hurts. It hurts just because we won’t ever get to see him again. He won’t be around. He won’t come around. He won’t knock at our door,” said Ezekiel’s cousin, Clarissa Ingram.

A vigil now stands on Webster Avenue where Ezekiel Ingram was shot and killed in January.

“He was a father, he had 7 kids. He was a music artist. He was a dancer,” said Ezekiel’s mom, Bonita Ingram.

“He had a loving heart. He’d give you anything, he’d give you the world. His music was everything to him,” Clarissa added.

“He was a really great guy, always respectful, never disrespectful, you can tell he was definitely raised right by his parents,” said Ezekiel’s girlfriend, Christine Pirtle.

The man accused of gunning down Ezekiel was charged for his murder. Bonita says it helps relieve some of the pain but won’t bring her son back.

“It feels like relief, justice,” she said.

Ezekiel’s girlfriend was there with him the night he was killed.

“I was the last person to see him alive and take his final breath, but it’s something I’ve been preparing myself mentally for day by day,” said Pirtle “I’m hurt and happy at the same time.”

His loved ones say they hope the arrest brings hope to others also waiting for justice.

“Justice has been served, and if someone in Rockford and even around the world believes that cases can’t be solved, don’t lose your hope, don’t lose your faith,” explained Clarissa. “If you have a loved one that’s been murdered, the way my cousin was murdered, cold-blooded, and you think that justice will not be served and it hasn’t been done yet, please don’t give up.”

Ezekiel was only 26-years-old when he was murdered.

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