COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A vigil was held Wednesday night for 17-year-old Jayce O’Neal, who was shot and killed following an altercation Monday night.
“We’re saddened by this,” said family friend Tony Crosby at the vigil. “We think, really, she’s been stolen from the world.”
The candlelight vigil was held at the Hilliard Bradley High School tennis courts, and one thing everyone had to say is they want O’Neal remembered as a girl full of joy.
Crosby said O’Neal would be at the courts, playing tennis and making everyone laugh.
His daughter and O’Neal had been friends since before middle school, and O’Neal was a fixture at his home.
“Loving, caring for people, just fun, full of life,” Crosby said. “She played tennis, she would sing, she would act up, she would come in the house, we would watch videos. She was part of the family. She had so much joy, just so much joy.”
Candles on the tennis court were arranged to read “L L Jayce,” and many mourners brought pictures and balloons.
“She was not only a friend to me, but a wonderful person inside and out, you know?” said friend Rudy Martinez. “She had the best heart, no matter what.”
Martines said he has lived on the same block as O’Neal when they were in elementary school, and since Monday, he’s choosing to live without hate in his heart.
“We as humans, we should not wish upon nobody to go to, you know, suffer and a bad place,” he said. “We should at least be grateful and blessed God caught the person.”
Crosby said he doesn’t want to see these young people go through another tragedy like this.
“I just know we have to do something to help these kids to understand the difference between violence and dealing with situations and issues,” he said. “If we don’t do it, no one else will.”
Also on Wednesday, released 911 calls are revealing more about what led to the arrest of a 16-year-old girl, accused of shooting and killing O’Neal Monday night.
The suspect, who NBC4 is not identifying due to her being a minor, plead not guilty in court Wednesday.
The suspect was arrested Tuesday morning, about 12 hours after the deadly shooting on Ridgebury Drive.
Police have released a 911 call from a woman who said she saw the news about the shooting and that the suspect was sleeping in her home.
The woman was acquainted with the suspect through a family member, and that’s how she was able to recognize her.