Family, friends hold vigil for slain 17-year-old

Teen's body found Tuesday by children walking to school bus stop


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A crowd of mostly young people gathered Wednesday in Northwest Jacksonville for a vigil for a slain 17-year-old.

Errin Brooks' body was found Tuesday near the intersection of Fourth Street and Clyde Drive by children walking to their bus stop.

Many questions are still unanswered about Brooks' death. Neighbors reported hearing gunfire Monday night, but police have not said if that was related to the killing.

LaWanda Taylor, Brooks' mother, could barely hold herself together -- at times her emotion was almost overwhelming. Brooks' mother found out about the tragedy while she was out of town.

"Nobody needs to bury their (explicit) child. It doesn't have to lead to that," said Taylor. "Y'all used to fight and throw hands and everybody is cool the next day. Y'all don't do that (explicit) no more because of your pride and (explicit). Stop killing each other."

Some of those who attended the vigil said they knew Brooks for years and went to Raines High School and Ribault Middle School with him.

Errin Brooks.
Errin Brooks.

Others just knew him from the neighborhood.

They brought cards, flowers, candles and teddy bears to add to a makeshift memorial not too far from where Brooks' body was found.

"People still can't believe that he is dead," said Kayla Jewell, 15, a friend of Brooks. "It's like a dream that you can't be awoken from."

It's still not clear how Brooks died and family members want to know why no one called police.

Police need people to come forward and urge the community to share any information it may know by calling Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.