WINCHESTER — Family, friends and kickball — three things Kevin Michael Riley loved — will be part of a benefit tournament on July 18 in memory of the homicide victim.
Riley, a 29-year-old city resident and HVAC technician, was unarmed when he was shot on Oct. 28 by Quadell Alik Grimes, according to police. Grimes, who admits shooting Riley, said it was in self-defense. He is scheduled to stand trial on Aug. 6.
In 2019, Riley formed “Balls and Dolls,” a kickball team for men and women that played in the Winchester Parks and Recreation kickball league at Jim Barnett Park. He played infield and outfield and was a third base coach. His outgoing nature that made him well-known and liked in the community was on display.
“He was very energetic at those games,” said Riley’s older sister, Crystal J. Pruitt, who is organizing the tournament. “You’d see him every week on the sideline cheering on his team to run home.”
Nine teams, which paid $200 entry fees, will play in the tournament. Proceeds from the event will go to the Winchester Parks Foundation. Initiatives and programs the foundation funds include improvements to the aquatic facility and upgrades at Frederick Douglass Park, the Active Living Center in the War Memorial Building, the Adopt-A-Tree program as well as covering financial aid scholarships.
Pruitt said she and her close-knit family have been devastated by her brother’s death. The event is part of an effort to make something positive come from the loss.
“I heard a quote once that stuck with me. It said, ‘When you’re hurting, help others,’” Pruitt said. “We have made it our mission to ensure his memory lives on and that we make him proud every day.”
The event also is an effort to raise awareness about preventing gun violence. Last year, Riley was one of 19,403 gun homicide victims in the U.S., according to the Gun Violence Archive. An additional 24,156 people committed suicide with guns. Both numbers are the highest in at least 20 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Gun violence must end,” Pruitt said. “Stop making families cry.”
Welcome to the discussion.
Comments are reviewed by moderators so they may not immediately appear. We appreciate your patience.