DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A young man was shot and killed in DeKalb County after leaving a community event meant for parents and their children at Coan Park over the weekend.
Stephon Morton's family, friends, former teachers and principal gathered at South Atlanta High School on Wednesday evening to remember a life cut too short.
Family members told Channel 2 Action News shortly after the 24-year-old left the event with friends on Saturday, he and another man got into an altercation around 9:30 p.m. They said after words were exchanged, Morton tried to leave in a friend's car before he was shot in the back on Candler Road near the I-20 westbound ramp.
His friends rushed him to Grady Memorial Hospital, and he was later pronounced dead. A police investigation is now underway for the person who shot him.
Loved ones said Morton would light up a room with his smile. They said his positive attitude was contagious.
“It’s five in the morning. I would like to say it’s a blessing to be here and do what you want to do," Morton said in a Snapchat video the day he died.
Those who adored him could not imagine what would happen just hours later.
"I’m more mad about it than anything,” said Morton's father.
The father said he is fuming because he cannot understand why anyone would want to kill his son.
“You are that cowardly, you’re going to shoot a kid in the back?” he said.
On Wednesday, the young man’s former principal wanted to focus on the life he lived.
"He was a great young man, a creative young man, a brother and a son," principal Peter McKnight said.
Loved ones released yellow and green balloons to honor the pride he had in his Brazilian roots.
"His smile stuck with me, and you see it in every picture you see of him," said McKnight.
A GoFundMe account was created to help the family with funeral costs.
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