CITY OF NEWBURGH – Phoenix Tracy Gayle named the dead.

Trent Zachary, her cousin, gunned down in March 2005.

Jeffrey Zachary, Trent’s younger brother, shot and killed in May 2008.

Keyshan Gayle, her younger brother, shot to death on Aug. 30 outside a grocery at Fullerton and Third streets.

It was the last name that drew Phoenix Gayle and dozens of others to Monday’s City Council meeting.

Before a standing-room-only crowd, Keyshan Gayle’s mother, and friends and family of the slain Newburgh Free Academy graduate bared not just their anguish, but their anger and frustration.

Even before the teenager’s funeral, they began organizing a petition drive calling on city officials to repair nonworking surveillance cameras and to improve lighting in Newburgh’s violence-plagued neighborhoods.

Driving their effort was the lack of lighting outside the store where Keyshan Gayle was killed and news that a nearby surveillance camera was not working.

“Nonworking streetlights and a nonworking camera,” said Jennifer Bediako, his mother. “It was pitch-black in front of that store that night. This is not acceptable.”

When he was shot around 11:15 p.m., Keyshan Gayle was waiting for a friend to exit the store when someone began shooting at another target, Bediako said. Shot once in the back, he was pronounced dead at St. Luke’s Hospital.

The shooting of Gayle, 18, came just over two months after he graduated from NFA and five months before he was to begin classes at Hudson Valley Community College. During the meeting, the Council watched a video of Keyshan Gayle performing in a skit for his New Windsor church.

Schnekwa McNeil, the mother of one of his best friends, handed Mayor Judy Kennedy a stack of pages containing over 2,400 petition signatures.

“We’re going to keep coming back until the city is lit up and every camera on every corner is working,” she said.

Before people spoke, City Manager Michael Ciaravino gave an update on a project in which the city is installing three digital surveillance cameras. It is part of a larger initiative that includes the repair and replacement of older analog cameras.

The installation of the digital cameras was announced in March, but the project has been marred by problems with utility poles, wiring and the removal of trees blocking sightlines, Ciaravino said. He said the city is waiting for Central Hudson to power-up the cameras.

“There’s really no priority other than this priority,” he said.

Phoenix Gayle is organizing a march and rally in honor of all the people slain in Newburgh. She carried a notebook listing names.

In addition to the Zachary brothers and Keyshan Gayle, the list included James Murchison. Her childhood friend was 16 when he was stabbed to death in May 2008.

“The only way that we are going to be able to heal and become one is if we unite,” Phoenix Gayle said. “This is our city.”

lsparks@th-record.com