A community in Gwinnett County, Georgia is mourning the loss of a high school football star who was gunned down in the parking lot of a Dave & Buster’s last week.
In the days since the horrific event, two suspects have been named and charged for the killing of 18-year-old Elijah DeWitt.
The shooters were found in South Carolina and were swiftly extradited to Georgia following their arrests.
Kamare Bryan, 18, and Chandler Richardson, 19, were in court in Lawrenceville, Georgia in Gwinnett Country Magistrate court.
This hearing occurred on the same day that friends and family gathered at the funeral of Dewitt at Jefferson High School.
The judge addressed the defendants by simply telling them, “You’re going to be here for a while,” due to the need for a superior court judge to set a bond on felony charges.
The defendants’ next hearing was yet to be scheduled.
Bryan and Richardson will both face charges for felony murder, malice murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the communions of certain felonies in connection with the murder of DeWitt.
In a Fox News exclusive interview, the longtime girlfriend of DeWitt, Bailey Reidling, explained what she saw in the wake of the heinous crime.
“I run over to Elijah, and he’s on the ground, and I go right over to him, and he mouths to me – the last word he said to me was ‘help,’”, Reidling said to Fox News. “You’re screaming in the moment because you’re in shock. So, it’s like a scream that you don’t try to do, it’s just coming out. I checked his pulse, and I got freaked out because there is nothing going on here. Some sweet lady came around the corner and said, ‘Baby, he just got shot. Calm Down. We called 911. They’re already on their way.”
Reidling also spoke about her boyfriend’s place in the community which had come together to honor DeWitt with candlelight vigils.
“He was an athlete at heart. But I don’t… want people to remember Elijah just as that,” Reidling said. “I just want everyone really to know how much of a light he was.”
“Elijah would forgive them,” she continued. “There’s something in my heart telling me to. I haven’t got any hatred toward them.”
Elijah’s mother had this to say about her son.
“I want him to be remembered as a fierce competitor with a very large heart,” she said.
A GoFundMe has been started to help the family afford funeral costs.
The page says “working toward an idea to honor Elijah and keep his memory alive and acknowledge that there are many needs in the coming months for friends and family of the DeWitts that you could directly impact.”
The $60,000 goal is nearly reached already, at the time of writing this article.
Lastly, Craig DeWitt, the father of Elijah, had this to say about forgiving the killers of his son.
“Forgiveness is for the forgiver. We don’t want the hate in this household.”
Featured image credit: Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department