Candlelight vigil honors Prince Holland, boy killed in drive-by

13-year-old’s girlfriend, her mother say they heard gunshots on night of shooting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Prince Holland was one of five people who were inside an SUV that was struck in a hail of gunfire, which took the 13-year-old boy’s life and injured two others.

On Wednesday night, more than 100 people gathered for a candlelight vigil to honor the boy. The gathering was near the intersection of Moncrief and New Kings roads, where the shooting occurred.

Investigators said that Holland and four others had just left football when someone pulled up and began shooting. An 11-year-old boy and the 21-year-old driver were hospitalized. A 14- and a 15-year-old boy were uninjured.

Attorney John Phillips represents the driver of the SUV. He said his client was struck 10 times by gunfire while trying to shield the boys.

During the vigil, News4JAX spoke with a witness who said they tried to render aid to the driver of the SUV.

Photo from Wednesday night vigil. (

“The gentleman who was on the ground was the coach. I mainly just tried to talk to him to wake him because he kept going in and out, so I was talking to him to keep him from going to sleep,” the witness said.

“When I asked him if he knew anybody that would shoot at them, he said, ‘No,’” the witness added.

Those who attended the vigil included Holland’s family, friends, Ribault Middle School classmates and multiple JSO detectives who are working on the case. During the vigil, Chantel Brown —Holland’s mother — issued a stern message to the public about senseless violence taking the lives of innocent children.

“It’s not one child. It’s not two children. It’s a national act. You all need to stop this violence and put your guns down. Be men. Be adults. Protect these kids,” Brown said.

Holland’s girlfriend and her mother live nearby and said they heard the gunshots. They never thought it would have involved Holland.

“He always lit up a room whenever he walked into it, and he was always happy and never sad,” said Holland’s girlfriend, Noela. “I was in my house and my friends came over and told me he passed away. That way no one would come up to me in school and tell me about it, blindsiding me.”

“This stuff is preventable,” said Noela’s mother, Ashley Alvarez-Vila. “Nobody’s life is worth this, especially a child when a child had nothing to do with whatever was going on.”

Nathaniel Farley IV was Holland’s close friend.

Candlelight vigil to honor Prince Holland, boy killed in drive-by

“Just a good person to hang around with. He was like a brother,” he said.

Nathaniel’s grandfather, Pastor Nathaniel Farley Jr., also attended the vigil. He, like many other parents and grandparents, is fed up with children being the victim of senseless gun violence.

“Gun violence is not the answer,” he said.

The shooter or shooters have not yet been identified.

If you have any information, call JSO at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS. You can remain anonymous – and there is also a $9,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

PREVIOUS STORIES: Sheriff: 13-year-old ‘just going home from football’ killed in drive-by | MAD DADS anti-violence group calls fatal shooting of 13-year-old ‘tragic for our community’ | ‘It’s very frightening’: Northwest Jacksonville residents sound off against violence after teen fatally shot in drive-by | ‘They snatched my baby’s life away’: Devastated mother shares name of 13-year-old killed in drive-by | Jacksonville won’t ‘tolerate violence 1 more day’: Sheriff focusing additional resources to combat crime | Former JSO officer provides insight on investigation into shooting death of 13-year-old | Attorney: Driver shot 10 times shielding children from gunfire in drive-by that killed 13-year-old

About the Author:

Award-winning broadcast and multimedia journalist with 20 years experience.