The candlelight vigil held for murder victim Quamere Bowden Friday night at the corner of South New Street and West Reed Street was like the scene of that ancient town of Bethany where the sisters of Lazarus bewailed the death of their brother in Judea.


The candlelight vigil held for murder victim Quamere Bowden Friday night at the corner of South New Street and West Reed Street was like the scene of that ancient town of Bethany where the sisters of Lazarus bewailed the death of their brother in Judea.

Even then, “Jesus wept,” Rev. Gregory Gordon told the assembled crowd, quoting John 11:35.

Gordon, pastor of My Brethren Ministries, and Bowden's family organized the vigil held where police found Bowden shot and down on the ground. He was taken to Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Indeed, many of the 70 people who attended the candlelight vigil had tears streaming down their faces as they remembered a 19-year-old killed late Monday morning at this very junction. Dover Police arrested Matthew Hoskins, 16, of the unit block of N. Governors Ave, for shooting Bowden eight times. The arrest came two hours after they began their investigation thanks to footage captured on the downtown security cameras, Lt. Benton Counselman said.

Bowden was a young man trying to turn his life around, Gordon said.

“He was trying to get out of the muck and the mire,” he said.

Friends called him “the life of the party” and a kid who always had a smile on his face. Among them were Chardon Banice, 20, of Ann Avenue; Jannika Harris, 20, of White Oak Road and Cherron Lawler, 20, of Ann Avenue.

“It’s unbelievable,” Banice said. “It was very unexpected. Nobody was to think he would go so fast and the way he did – in broad daylight at that.”

“He always had a smile on your face and always kept you laughing,” she added. “He was the life of the party.”

“He was always dancing, licking his lips and asking people for Carmex,” Harris said. “In words of Bake Wink – his friend that’s locked up - rest in peace forever.

Things got especially emotional at Friday night’s vigil when Bowden's mother, Catrina Bonet, finally gained her composure enough to address the crowd. She and her husband Keith Bonet, of Wahiawa, Hawaii, had come back into town Tuesday, the day after her son’s death.

Catrina Bonet urged the people to not take vengeance for her son’s life. There had been enough blood shed.

“Anger is not going to help us grieve any better,” she said. “Instead of being angry, just pray. I’m telling you I am truly praying for that family [of Hoskins].

“I know my son went to heaven,” she added.

Bowden’s brother, Jimyre Powell, 23, of Camden, came to the vigil with Tayana Patton.

“I lost my little brother,” Powell said. “There’s not too much more I can say about that. Of course, it hurts. Never in a million years did I think that my brother would be the one on TV.

“It’s good that the police caught the man that did it,” he said. “My brother’s in a better place. He’s good. So, I’m good.”

Sherry Wright’s son, Keon, 17, was with Bowden when he was gunned down. Keon Wright called the police, and he held Bowden in his arms. When police arrived, Bowden was in “the death rattle” and gasped for his last breath, she said.

“My son started crying [saying], ‘My friend is dead. My friend is dead,’” Wright said.

Bowden was the city of Dover’s sixth homicide victim, police said.

“We started the year off great with no homicides occurring between January and May of 2011, and then all hell broke loose,” Dover Police Capt. Tim Stump said. “We’ve had six over the past six months, which is alarming to say the least. I’ve worked here for over 21 years, 15 of which were in the Criminal Investigation Unit and I have never seen these numbers before.”

The six murders in this quiet city this year compared to five in the last three years combined have been disconcerting, Councilman David Anderson said.

“My heart goes out to the five families victimized this year,” said Anderson, who attended the vigil. “Crime prevention and control has to be a top priority of the next year.”

But the catching of the alleged murderer quickly because of the cameras at least discourages future crimes like this and it makes the community feel safer, he said.

“Cameras augment police work; they do not substitute for it,” Anderson said. “Dover PD took the evidence and used it well for that they deserve credit.”

All six of these homicides had very quick turnarounds, Stump said. In this case, the security cameras were of great assistance. But they will not stop crime.

“We know that murders create a lot of anxiety with the citizens of Dover and they want to see a resolution,” he said. “The detectives who handle these cases put in countless hours to bring these cases to justice. We are proud of the dedication and focus they put into these investigations.”

Cynthia Bracy, of South New Street, said the increased crime was due in part to parents not having the time to look after their children as they work or look for a job in a tough economy.

“The victims are getting younger and younger,” Bracy said. “We have two babies here. The one who shot him was 16 and [Bowden] was 19. Neither one of them lived their lives and they’re gone.”

Brian Hicks, a South New Street resident, said he was wiling to have another camera installed on his porch to record the violence and drug use occurring.

“The evidence will talk for itself,” he said.