• Loved ones honor high school senior killed during college acceptance party

    By: Nefertiti Jaquez

    Updated:

    HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - Dozens of friends gathered to show their love for a teenager shot and killed at his college acceptance party.

    Jesse Thomas was a stand-out student and athlete at Stockbridge High School.

    As dusk fell, hundreds gathered at the school football field to honor the slain teen.

    “The sun is shining. It's shining for a reason. He's looking down on us,” coach Rodney Latham said.

    Amid the crowd of people were the teen's parents who were too emotional to talk and his brothers.

    "It's been hard but we've been keeping up. Trying to be strong for Jesse," brother Jeden Sullivan told Channel 2’s Nefertiti Jaquez.

    The star basketball player was shot and killed Saturday at his college acceptance party, hosted by a relative in McDonough. 

    "It doesn't feel real," Sullivan said.

    His family, friends, teammates and classmates gathered to celebrate the life of a young man who many say had a bright future. 


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    “Always loving, everything you need he was there for you,” friend Elias Jackson said.

    Some donned T-shirts with his name, face and jersey number, while several others wore blue -- which was Thomas’ favorite color.  

    tshirt in remembrance
    tshirt in remembrance

    "Anytime you lose a member of your family, it's hard," Latham said.

    Thomas attended his senior prom a few weeks ago and was supposed to graduate from Stockbridge on May 26.

    His loved ones say he was happy about the opportunity of playing college basketball after being recently accepted at Indian River State College in Florida.

    As loved ones continue to focus on the teen's life and legacy police are focused on finding Dexter Convington, 19, who is a person of interest in Thomas' death.

    Henry County police say he could be anywhere.

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