Vigil held for cancer survivor killed near My Hookah Lounge in Hamtramck

Victim survived cancer as a teen

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HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – A man who overcame stage-4 cancer as a teen was shot and killed just days before Christmas.

Marquise McCray, 21, was one of the victims of a triple shooting near the My Hookah Lounge in Hamtramck on Sunday. He was killed, and two other people were injured. The family believes he was shot and killed during a robbery. Police have not released the details of their investigation.

Family and friends gathered Friday to hold a vigil for McCray. They said he never stopped smiling during his cancer treatment and that his courage and positive energy inspired everyone he met.

"This is what shows the type of person Marquise was," Rochelle Smith, McCray's aunt, said. "Everyone loved Marquise."

"At the age of 17, he was diagnosed with stage-4 lymphoma cancer," Tillecha Smith, McCray's aunt, said.

"It was rough for him, but he always kept a good attitude, and he had this smile that was out of this world," Rochelle Smith said.

They said that for more than two years, the teen endured weekly chemo and monthly spinal taps.

"He’s green 'cause of the chemo and his hair is all out and his body is deformed, but at the same time, he’s still encouraging others," Rochelle Smith said. "He was still happy going through the chemo, going through the cancer that he had. He was still happy."

His outlook on life attracted the attention of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and they helped send the family to Walt Disney World.

McCray had been cancer-free since 2016. He graduated from Frederick Douglass High School and started working at Chrysler to help support his family.

"He helped become very positive with a lot of things," Jerrad Studstill, McCray's childhood friend, said. "To see him gone now, I’m just going to reflect on all the good things that he taught me."

"They (are) taking our precious babies. They don’t know what Marquise meant to us. He was our everything," Tillecha Smith said.

The family is urging anyone with information to talk to the police.

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