Unsolved murder: Family remembers Wendale Davis 12 years after death

Wendale Davis is seen in an undated provided photo.

Family and friends gathered Monday at Union Cemetery to remember and celebrate the life of 16-year-old Wendale Davis.

The teenager was shot and killed on April 23, 2006. His family holds a vigil every year in his honor.

Wendale's father, Wesley Davis, said he wants justice and is frustrated the murder is now a cold case.

Police said they have exhausted every lead. The case is still open, but it has been put on the shelf.

The incident happened in southeast Bakersfield. near the intersection of Cottonwood Road and Bradshaw Street. Wendale was in the driver's seat of a car outside of a home when someone in another car drove by and opened fire.

"You talk about individuals who just rolled by, who have never even seen my son in their life, never met him, didn't know him from Adam. How can you do such a thing?" his father said.

Wendale's father said his son was never involved in a gang, but he believes the person who shot him was.

Ever since his son's death, Wesley Davis has dedicated his life to getting answers about the murder and stopping violence in the community through the Wendale Davis Foundation.

"Ultimate justice would be to, No. 1, get these guys off the streets, that's No. 1. You have to be brought to justice for doing such a thing," his father said. "No. 2, I would encourage these guys to find a priest or a pastor in their life. They're going to need that."

The 16-year-old was one of 23 children. Monday, his siblings and other family members shared memories, prayed and honored his life.

Wendale's father said he will continue to have a vigil every year for the rest of his life.

"We just believe in turning a negative into a positive," Wendale's brother said. "We have each other. Always have. That's been a tremendous help."

There is a $50,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in the murder case.

"It's going to take one of these guys that were in the vehicle to actually roll over and testify against the other," Wendale's father said.

If you have a tip, contact police at (661) 327-7111.

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