Inside a New Westminster school auditorium, friends, family members, and even strangers gathered to remember Karim Meskine, the Surrey teen whose young life was tragically cut short December 20 in a senseless and unprovoked beating.

Julie Meskine

Karim Meskine's mother Julie listens as others speak about her son at his memorial Saturday afternoon in a New Westminster school auditorium. (CBC)

The 19-year-old was beaten with a baseball bat just blocks from the 22nd Street Skytrain station. Police say Meskine did not know his attacker and that it appears the attack was the result of a botched robbery.

Meskine spent his final days in a coma before he was taken off life support, dying just five days before Christmas.

Instead of celebrating Christmas together, friends and family gathered in mourning Christmas Eve at a Surrey mosque to lay him to rest. 

Meskine memorial

Family and friends gather at a New Westminster school auditorium to say goodbye to Karim Meskine (CBC)

At his memorial, Meskine was eulogized by family, friends and even strangers.

New Westminster resident John Novo says he can't imagine how hard it is for the family.

"It is such an awful tragedy, especially when you have a son and daughter almost the same age," he said. "It hurts so much. No parent should bury their own child"

Promising soccer player

Family friend Justice Mirembe,plays soccer with Kamal, Karim's father. He remembers the teen as a promising soccer player.

"He would never hurt a fly," he said.  "This kid was quiet, very reserved.  He responded well to instructions from his coaches. The accused is going to go through the system.  We trust the system, but that's not going to bring him back."

Meskine memorial candle lighting

Friends and family of Karim Meskine light candles after visiting the scene of his beating. The family says it was tough to go there, but felt they should.

After the service, Karim's family drove to the place where he was attacked, near 8th Street and 23rd Avenue. It was the first time his parents had ever visited the site and going there was difficult.

The accused, a 16 year old boy, is facing 2nd degree murder charges and has been denied bail. The Crown has said that if the accused is convicted, prosecutors will ask that he be sentenced as an adult. 

Meskine's family says they're happy he's off the streets and hope to see justice served, but nothing will bring their son back.