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Providence School students mourn beloved student athlete

Tommy Waters, 18, took his life Thursday, shocking friends, family

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Friends and family of Tommy Waters, 18, are shocked and saddened by his sudden death Thursday at his own hand.

News4Jax typically does not name victims of suicide. These deaths often aren't covered because of sensitivity to the victims, but it's important for everyone to know that suicide is the second-leading cause of death among young people from 10 to 24-years-old.

Waters was a popular student athlete at Providence School, with what many said had a bright future ahead of him.

His death has left many to mourn and as his fellow students tried to come to grips with the reality of a life lost.

"He was well-liked. He had that kind of personality that you were just drawn to. They want to remember Tommy Waters as that person," said Ken Jefferson, spokesman of Providence School.

Waters was a senior. He played football and basketball and his family said he loved God.

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Many of Tommy's classmates went to school Friday to honor his memory by painting his parking spot in the student lot and leaving mementos.

"I had an opportunity to talk to many of the students and they’re just in shock right now. He didn’t have just one best friend. He was best friend to a lot of these students," said Jefferson. "The kids along with the staff here at Providence want him to be remembered as an outstanding Providence Stallion, one who loved God, and put God first in everything and did right by his fellow man." 

Students at Providence are helping each other get through a difficult time. This tragedy came just days after the loss of a Bishop Kenny High School friend who died in a car accident.

Waters was the son of a well-known Jacksonville police officer. Providence School not only canceled classes Friday, the football game was also called off.

Read Statement from Providence School

Classes will resume Tuesday with grief counselors on staff to help students and teachers deal with loss.