CALLAHAN, Fla. – Friends, family and classmates gathered on Saturday to say their final goodbyes to Trent Fort, the West Nassau High School football player who died in a shooting.
Funeral services began at 11 a.m. at Callahan First Baptist Church, which is across the street from the high school. The family has received an outpouring of support from the community.
Thursday night, more than 100 people filled the school’s stadium, holding candles to remember the 16-year-old’s life.
“I am so grateful and Trenton was so special and is such a special kid," said Paige Hall, Fort’s mother, during the vigil. “He didn’t deserve this, and these people here -- I have no words for West Nassau and the town of Callahan. Everybody, the churches, our pastors, our family, friends, they have went above and beyond. The love and support for Trenton, and that just speaks miles for me.”
The teen’s parents said Fort had dreams of playing football in college and the NFL. A fundraising account that was setup to help the family was just shy of its $15,000 goal on Saturday.
The shooting triggered additional security measures at West Nassau High School throughout the week. School staff could be seen searching backpacks, purses and other belongings as students entered the building Tuesday, a day after the shooting. (See statement below from school district)
Deputies said the 16-year-old was shot in the chest while in a car with four other students in the Spring Lake Estates neighborhood off Lem Turner Road. He died at UF Health Jacksonville.
Hall said she learned after his death that he recently signed up to be an organ donor and was told his death could help a hundred people.
“His heart was so big. He was so special,” Hall said.
Three teenagers are in custody, including the person suspected of pulling the trigger. Deputies have not released their names because they are minors.
A statement from the school district reads:
“The Nassau County School District is saddened by the off campus, student involved shooting that occurred late yesterday afternoon that resulted in the loss of a student’s life. We extend our deepest sympathy and support to the student’s family. There will be an increased law enforcement presence on campus today. While we have no reason to believe that there is any threat to our students, we will proceed with an abundance of caution to ensure our students and staff are safe and that everyone receives the support they need.”