Hundreds at memorial for murdered teenager

Posted at 12:28 AM, Jun 15, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-15 06:45:41-04

WAKEFIELD, Va. (WTVR)--Within just a few days, a teenager went from graduating near the top of his class and winning his school's athlete of the year award, to being murdered.

Tyquan Johnson was gunned down at a graduation party over the weekend. Johnson was an honor student and headed to college on a football scholarship. [Read More: Gunfire erupts at graduation party, teenager dead, two injured.]

People have heaps of kind words and praise for the young man.

Hundreds gathered Thursday night, outside the Municipal Recreation Facility, where Johnson used to play ball. But they didn’t just remember an athlete, they remembered someone who had served his community as a role model.

“Such a shame that his life had to end as early as it did, and the way that it ended,” said one of his coaches, Paul Rogers. Coaches said Tyquan had athletic ability unlike no other—track, baseball, basketball, football.

“He came to school every day, and his GPA reflected it—3.8,” said one coach.

Police say Johnson was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that the killing was senseless. Johnson was innocent, enjoying the day of graduation and the beginning of a summer before heading to college—on a full football scholarship.

His mom hopes that they catch whoever committed the crime. Investigators didn’t have much to say, staying tight-lipped about the progress that they’re making. Yet sources told Jon Burkett that the sprayed bullets were the calling card of a turf war.

“I hope the young people in this area will use Tyquan as an example and stay away from events where they know there’s gonna be trouble, drugs and gangs,” said Rogers. Stay at home and don’t put your parents through what Tyquan’s are going through.”

Johnson would have been headed to North Carolina Wesleyan College in the fall. The Division 3 school sent his mother his number two jersey that he would have worn.