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Community gathers for vigil for 13-year-old Malik Tyler, shot to death in Pleasant Grove Tuesday

A 21-year-old man has been charged with murder in the shooting death of 13-year-old Malik Tyler Tuesday in the Pleasant Grove neighborhood of Dallas.

DALLAS — Police have made an arrest in connection to the shooting death of a 13-year-old boy Tuesday night in Pleasant Grove, just hours before family and friends held a vigil for the teen. 

Datrail Clayton, 21, was arrested Wednesday on a murder charge. 

Malik Tyler, 13, was fatally wounded when he became caught in crossfire just after 7 p.m. in front of a gas station near the 9400 block of Bruton Road.

Police said Tyler was walking with his best friend on a sidewalk when someone opened fire from a car toward a group hanging out in a parking lot. Another person returned fire, and one of the stray bullets struck Tyler.

RELATED: 13-year-old boy dead in Pleasant Grove shooting, police say

Tyler was a student at Young Men's Leadership Academy at Florence in Dallas.

Dallas police also made an arrest in a separate shooting that killed a 17-year-old DeSoto High School graduate early Tuesday morning. 

That shooting happened in a downtown Dallas parking lot in the 400 block of North Akard Street near Federal Street.

According to police, Kenaijae Keon Anderson, 18, approached a car in which Leroy Hawkins III was a passenger and began arguing with both people inside the vehicle. During the fight, Anderson allegedly pulled out a gun.

While the driver was able to flee the scene on foot, Anderson was found shot several times inside the car. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died from his injuries. 

Police said Anderson was also a recent graduate of DeSoto High School and knew Hawkins. 

Anderson remains in the Dallas County jail in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Clayton remains in the Dallas County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail. 

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A TROUBLED HISTORY  

Clayton, per Dallas Police sources, is a known gang member. 

According to those sources, Clayton affiliates with the 'YNB Stretch Gang.' 

In 2015 and 2016, Clayton was indicted on three aggravated assault with deadly weapon charges. 

In the 2016 cases, court documents said that Clayton was shooting at another rival gang called the 'Ben Frank Gang.' 

Clayton served two years in the state penitentiary for the crimes and was recently released. 

In May of this year, he was arrested for evading police and possession of marijuana. Clayton bonded out of jail shortly after being arrested. 

When he was being booked into the Dallas County Jail, Clayton did not say a word to WFAA cameras. 

When asked if he had anything to say to Tyler's family, he remained silent. 

In Dallas, there are 386 documented gangs and 6,109 documented gang members. 

On Tuesday night, Chief Reneé Hall said that the gas station Tyler was shot in front of at Bruton and St. Augustine is a known area for gang activity. 

"According to the officers who work this area on a regular basis, this is a historical area where gang and drug dealers frequent," Hall said. 

"YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU TOOK FROM THIS FAMILY" 

Near the intersection where Tyler was shot, pastors, friends, community leaders, and family gathered Wednesday night to remember and honor the teen. 

Tina Tyler, Malik's mother, told reporters that she lived the worst night of her life on Tuesday. 

"Someone took my son from me yesterday," Tyler said. "This is not an easy process for me." 

Her comments centered around city leaders and the community taking a stand against the corner her son died at, and the violence that generates so often there. 

"There are things happening here every day and no one is paying attention to it until now," Tyler said. "Make something out of this day." 

"You do not know what you took from this family." 

What was most heartbreaking, was listening to friends of Tyler plead with the community to simply just get along. 

Their words signified that Tyler was a standup kid, who got caught up in senseless violence. 

"When I saw Malik down, it hurt me like I was down," Ronald Foster said. "I wish I was there to push him out of the way so I could take the bullet for him." 

When MaQuesta Martin Jr. stepped up to the mic, everyone paid attention. With tears rolling down his face, he asked for peace. 

"When I wanted to run away from home, Malik was there. When I was feeling down, he was there with me," Martin said. 

"Love each other, please. Do it for the community. Too many people are getting hurt for no reason...he was an innocent child," Martin said sobbing. 

A familiar face in the crowd was the mother of Shavon Randle, Shaquana Persley. 

Randle was also 13 when she was kidnapped, murdered, and left in a drug house. 

Persley and Tyler embraced and shared tears. Persley was overheard saying, "You're going to relive it every day. Over and over. You have to stay strong." 

This is a developing story. Check back for new information. Download our free WFAA app to stay up-to-date on all news stories in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

WFAA's Tanya Eiserer contributed to this report