Two days after 17-year-old JaDonte Thompson was killed in his own home, the community came together to remember and honor him with a candlelight vigil.
A look among the faces in the crowd on Thursday said it all. To everyone there, JaDonte was someone special.
“He was just a wonderful kid. He had goals, he wanted to be a school teacher,” his aunt, Dianne Bates, said.
Now in his absence, a huge void and a lot of questions.
“What do we do as a community? What do we do as a people that continue to see such tragedies as gun violence,” Bates asked.
Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry spoke to the crowd at the vigil.
“It’s not your responsibility as young people to stop it. It's our responsibility as your parents, your mentors, the people who have come before you. We’re not doing our jobs,” Gentry said.
It was around midnight early Wednesday morning, when police said two armed men broke into his family's home. That's when JaDonte confronted one of the gunman. He was shot in the chest and later died at the hospital.
“He went down fighting, he was a fighter,” said Bates.
Now his family, friends, and classmates will carry on all that JaDonte stood for.
“Continue the legacy that we saw Donte do, loving his family, loving people, giving people... being a warm heart to people. Donte was smart, he was energetic,” Bates added.
The emotions and heartbreak of losing JaDonte Thompson proved to be too much for one woman who passionately spoke at his vigil. Just moments later she fainted, and first responders were called. We're told she will recover.
Police have still been searching for the two gunmen who killed JaDonte. Anyone with information that can help has been urged to call police or Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.