Amanda Mehaffie of York City lights candles during a vigil on East Philadelphia Street for her friend, Sharrod Snellings, 18, on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2013.
Amanda Mehaffie of York City lights candles during a vigil on East Philadelphia Street for her friend, Sharrod Snellings, 18, on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2013. He was fatally shot a year ago. About forty people attended the vigil. (Bill Kalina)

In the past year, Sharrod Snellings Jr. has grown from an infant into a beautiful, curly-haired toddler of 15 months.

His father missed every moment of it.

On Wednesday, family and friends of 18-year-old homicide victim Sharrod Snellings gathered at the corner of North Queen and East Philadelphia streets to remember him.

Snellings, of Courtland Street, was fatally shot there Jan. 23, 2012.

"This ain't a game," stepfather Philip Mann said. "We're suffering."

About 40 people attended. Some wore coats with "S-Rod's" name on it, others wore buttons with his picture.

They lit candles and placed photographs at the breezeway where Snellings collapsed and died.

Family members said Snellings was a loving young man who was always ready to help out.

Homicide victim Sharrod Snellings had these photos taken with his namesake son not long before being fatally shot.
Homicide victim Sharrod Snellings had these photos taken with his namesake son not long before being fatally shot.
He was thrilled about being a father and cherished spending time with his baby boy.

No more violence: Mann said the vigil had a second purpose as well -- to encourage young people not to throw their lives away by participating in street violence.

He expressed sadness and frustration that young people from different York City neighborhoods feel as if they must take "sides" and go to war with each other, rather than respect one another.

Also attending the vigil was Rosalyn Nevin, mother of homicide victim Lance Sease.

York City detectives have arrested two York City men in connection with Snellings' killing, but so far no arrests have been made in Sease's killing.

"These kids live by the code of the streets," Mann said. "I wish they'd come forward."

'Heartbreaking': Mann said he's sure some people know who killed Sease in February, and said they should do the right thing and tell police what they know.

"It's just heartbreaking," he said.

Richard Larry Nolden Jr., 22, remains in county prison without bail, charged with first-degree murder and related offenses in Snellings' homicide.

O'Brian William Sipe Sr., 26, pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted first-degree murder, for shooting at Jevaughn Daemar Murphy, who was with Snellings when they were shot at. Sipe was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison.

No memories: Sharrod Jr.'s mother, Khalima Valentine, wrote a statement read aloud in court Tuesday during Sipe's sentencing:

"My son will have no memory of his father. All I can do now is show him pictures and tell him ... stories about his dad. I now have to compensate so he won't have an emptiness inside."

Anyone with information on Sease's homicide is urged to call detectives at 849-2219, or call the city's anonymous crime tip line, 849-2204. Text a tip to YORKTIPS at 847411.

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com.