ROSWELL, Ga. — Family and friends of Natalie Henderson gathered Thursday night for a candlelight vigil to honor her memory and life.
Henderson and Carter Davis were found shot to death behind a Publix grocery store early Monday. Roswell police arrested a 20-year-old, Jeffrey A. Hazelwood, Wednesday and charged him with murder in the case.
Emma Caldwell, one Henderson’s closest friends, spoke at the vigil, saying she would never be the same with Henderson dead.
“I feel like half of me has been ripped away,” Caldwell told Channel 2’s Matt Johnson. “She was my best friend. I considered her my sister."
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Friends remembered Henderson as outgoing and could approach anyone and make a new friend.
“I liked to call her 'Fun Size' because she was really tiny and lovable,” said friend Avery Booth.
More than 100 people showed up at the vigil in Roswell Square. They shared hugs and memories of Henderson as well as lit candles to help remember their friend, sister and daughter.
“We want to honor her and do something for her that she can remember, and her family can remember her by, and say goodbye,” said another friend, Suhad Hussain.
“There's always going to be something missing but we can't dwell on that. We have to focus on the fact she was an amazing person,” Booth told Johnson.
Earlier in the day, Channel 2’s Tom Regan sat down with Caldwell, who spoke about how she is remembering her best friend.
Caldwell said the grieving has only just begun. She gathered a collection of photos of her close friend on her dining room table, showing Regan the good times they had together.
“When I found out, I screamed and started crying and I fell to the ground,” Caldwell told Regan. “She didn't hurt anyone and I feel so bad for Carter's family, and I never knew him. But she told me about him once and he sounded so sweet to her.”
Caldwell said she last heard from Henderson on a Snapchat post just hours before her killing.
She said doesn't know the accused killer, Jeffrey Hazelwood, or what could have motivated the deadly shooting.
“I don't know why he would do something like that to my friend or to Carter. There were many friends who cared about them,” Caldwell said.
Henderson and Caldwell were best friends on the color guard team as Roswell High School
“She breathed color guard. She loved it so much and she loved her friends. She considered them family,” Caldwell said.
She said she loved way her friend giggled and gave warm hugs and brightened up the day for everyone who crossed her path.
“It's just really heartbreaking,” Caldwell said.
She told Regan that Henderson inspired her.
Remembering Carter Davis
During a memorial service for Carter Davis Thursday, his family said he had a passion for life and loved everyone.
More than 200 mourners gathered in prayer at St. Martin in the Fields Church to celebrate the life of Davis.
“Our entire St Martin's School Community is deeply saddened by the death of our friend and colleague’s son Carter Davis,” St. Martin's Episcopal School Headmaster James Hamner said.
Davis’ mother teaches eighth grade English at the school. Hamner expressed the grief of church members, and mourners.
He also read a statement from the victim's family.
“Carter Davis was the most moving, passionate full of life young man,” Hamner read.
The family said the River Ridge High School student had a passion for team sports -- soccer, football and lacrosse -- that his competitive spirit gave him the drive to excel in sports and academics.
“His smile was a warm hug. Carter made friends easily and touched so many of us,” Hamner said. “Although his life was cut short, everyone in his life will remember how he loved the Lord and told them often he lived life to fullest.”
Cox Media Group