Funeral held for 16-year-old killed in shooting

Darius Latrae Johnson

June 30, 2011 12:24:41 PM PDT
Friends and family gathered Thursday to say goodbye to 16-year-old Darius Latrae Johnson.The teenager was shot to death last week on Poole Road in Raleigh, not far from his home.

An hour before the funeral started, friends, classmates and neighbors packed the front lawn of the Mount Pleasant Worship Center in Raleigh to comfort each other and show support to the immediate family.

"They're struggling, but there's been a huge support from the community and people have come out and offered to mow their lawn, help with the car, bring food and finances and so God is providing in many different ways," Rev. Royce Hathcock said.

Friends of Johnson brought stuffed animals and a hat that they passed around and signed to place at the gravesite.

"They feel left behind a lot, so we'll try to encourage them to remember darius and the wonderful kid he was," Hathcock said.

Since Johnson's death, friends and family have turned his home into a make-shift memorial to remember the teen - balloons, stuffed animals and flowers fill the front yard.

'We're never gonna see him again, that's something hurtful to me, for all of us, especially for his mom," Johnson's friend Trominique Ruffin said.

Johnson's friends say they have no idea what could have lead to the shooting.

Authorities have charged 17-year-old Solister Lester, 18-year-old Alexander Leon Walton, 19-year-old Rodney Nigee Pledge Taylor and 29-year-old Floyd Clifton Creecy Jr., in connection with Johnson's death.

They haven't released a motive, but say Johnson knew one of the four suspects.

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