HENRICO, Va (WRIC) — A sea of friends, family and teachers stood outside of Highland Springs High School for two hours Monday night to honor one of their own –a standout basketball player who was shot dead last weekend.
Jahiem Dickerson, 16, was killed early Saturday morning on Glenwilton Drive, a tragic page turn in a disturbing trend of gun violence –all the more concerning when young people are being killed.
“I love you, bro. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. I was with you every day,” said a friend, and basketball teammate, while unable to hold back his tears.
Cries for justice in the East End prompted many speakers at the vigil –including pastors and law enforcement– to say people involved with gun violence have to “do better,” and “want more,” as one school parent proclaimed.
“Somebody say ‘too many,’ ‘too many.’ Too many school students and teachers are crying, too many mothers are talking and screaming, ‘Why my son?’ Why my daughter?,'” one pastor said.
“Don’t let this be another name, another young person we lost and we move on. Not this time,” said school Athletic Director Harry Lee Daniel.
Jahiem’s mother, Jennifer, accepted her son’s team jersey from his teammates and coach. She said the teen who wore #1 will be laid to rest in it.
“And I just hurts that I moved out here to give him a better life, and he wound up being taken away from me from something that was so senseless,” Jaheim’s mother said. “And it hurts that I had to see that, and be there and watch him. I’m a nurse, I know how to do CPR, I know how to take care of people, but at this moment, this one person that came from me, I couldn’t. I couldn’t.”
The county supervisor representing the area said someone in the vigil crowd knows something about who pulled the trigger, and even said maybe that person was there. Henrico Police Chief Eric English and Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor also attended and called for the carnage to end now.
Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call Crime Stoppers.