Vigil honors murdered former Freeman football star

Posted at 12:06 AM, Nov 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-05 00:30:35-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A candlelight vigil was held Saturday evening for the recent Douglas Freeman High School graduate and standout athlete fatally shot in Norfolk.

Nicholas Jerome Ackies, 18, was allegedly shot by a former teammate during an alleged robbery last Friday night.

Family members, friends and classmates gathered to the vigil at Freeman High School Saturday at 7 p.m.

Ackies' funeral will take place at the West End Assembly of God on Parham Road on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Family angry, numb after former Freeman football star’s murder

Ruthina Ackies told WTVR CBS 6 reporter Sandra Jones that said some of her cherished memories of her beloved son are deeply rooted in sports.

Nick Ackies

Nick Ackies

But his mother said her son made his family proud in other ways, too.

“He was the one that didn't know a stranger. He could talk to any adult or any kid and make them feel warm,” Ruthina Ackies said.

Ruthina Ackies said her son had a smile that could light up a room and was known to be a protector.

"He was that good guy who would give you the shirt off his back," Ruthina Ackies said. "He would give you the last $10 and then, he would call me later and say, 'Hey mom, do you have some money?' [So he could] get the $10 back that he just gave to somebody else."

Ruthina Ackies stands in her 18-year-old late son's bedroom.

Ruthina Ackies stands in her 18-year-old late son's bedroom.

Norfolk police said the 18-year-old was shot and killed in a Norfolk apartment complex.

Jaquan Anderson, 22, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

Anderson also attended Norfolk State University and was a linebacker on the team before graduating in 2016. According to the team's website, Anderson is also from Richmond and played football at L.C. Bird High School in Chesterfield.

Nick on signing day.

Nick on signing day.

Nick was a recent grad of Freeman High School and his mom said he was on his way to football stardom at Norfolk State University.

He signed with Norfolk State University's football team earlier this year.

Freeman head football coach Mike Henderson remembered Nick fondly.

"He lived in the moment. Everybody saw a big 6 foot 3, 290-pound guy running around on the field or pitching baseball," Coach Henderson said. "But he was just smiling , laughing and loved just being around sports in general."

 Nick Jerome Ackies

Nick Jerome Ackies



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