EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (KMOV.com) – The family and friends of a Metro East football star who was killed at a party remembered him at a vigil Wednesday night.
Jaylon McKenzie, 14, was shot at a post-prom party in early May. He was almost finished with eighth grade and was set to attend East St. Louis High School. He was already receiving attention from colleges.
East St. Louis High School’s football stadium was filled with family and friends who remembered him on Wednesday evening. His parents spoke to a crowd of family, friends and teammates, pleading for others to take a hard look at the loss of their son.
“You might be doing the right thing but the people around you are doing the wrong thing and it can cost you your life. It cost me my son’s life,” said Jaylon’s father Otis Gunner.
East St. Louis police say hundreds were at the party where the shooting happened. Teammate Antonio Johnson said he could not see who was shooting, but when he heard shots, his first thought was finding Jaylon.
Johnson called him and it was their last conversation.
“I told him I loved him, the last thing he said to me was that he was dying,” said Johnson.
The two have known each other since they were little kids.
Police are still investigating the shooting.