LONGMONT, Colo. (KDVR) — The family of a Longmont teen killed in a shooting last Friday was joined by a large crowd for a vigil on Thursday night.

Robert Maldonado, 16, was shot while he was at a “car meet-up” in the parking lot of a Longmont shopping center near Hover Street and Nelson Road. Police have a person of interest in the case, but the teen’s family is left wanting answers.

Close to a hundred friends and family came together for a vigil outside of a bank. At the vigil, they released balloons to remember Robert, but his mother took the opportunity to send a message to parents and teens in this community.

“We love the turnout,” David Maldonado, Robert’s father, said.

“My son was very loved,” Robert’s mother, Jeri Maldonado, said. “He made an impact on this community.”

‘We need to help our kids,’ grieving mother pleads

Flanked by relatives and friends, many of them around Robert’s age, Jeri pleaded with young people to stop the violence.

“We need to help our kids, and not just the kids,” Jeri said, “the parents need to come together. These are our children.”

Grief-stricken, this mother in mourning recalled the last time she saw her son: Friday night, before he was killed.

“I told my son: I love you, son. I’ll see you later. And he didn’t come home,” Jeri said. “I hugged him, I kissed him, I blessed him, I told him to be careful, to be safe.”

The large group of supporters wasn’t enough to fill the void left by the death of her youngest child, Robert, the youngest of 10.

“He was my baby,” Jeri said. “He was the last puzzle piece that is now missing.”

Longmont Police do have a person of interest in this case. They said shortly after arriving at the scene last Friday, several people tried to get away in a vehicle, which has since been identified.