REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (WCMH) – The Reynoldsburg community gathered Sunday night to honor the life of a young woman taken too soon.
A’yanta Jarmon was shot and killed late Friday night.
Loved ones said she was kind and had a smile that would light up an entire room.
“When our community suffers a loss, it’s not just any one individual or small group; it’s all of us,” said Reynoldsburg Mayor Joe Begeny. “We are all here to mourn tonight with the family.”
Jarmon had just graduated from high school in Reynoldsburg, where she was on the cheer team. People at Sunday’s vigil said she made an impact on the field, off the field, and around the community.
Candles were lined up outside the Reynoldsburg High School Livingston campus, where hundreds gathered, some holding each other, some holding purple and yellow balloons, the same colors Jarmon wore as she cheered for the Raiders.
“Just a light,” said Reynoldsburg Board of Education Vice President Angela Abram. “I think the attendance here tonight lets you know how much she impacted our entire community.”
Jarmon wasn’t just a cheerleader. She also spent at least two years on the school’s track team. Her coaches said she was the type of student-athlete to do everything with a smile.
“Such a bright future ahead of her,” said track and field assistant coach Darian Noble.
That future was taken away from her. Columbus police said Jarmon was shot and killed on the 2700 block of Fairwood Avenue on Friday night. According to investigators, someone shot into a crowd at a party, hitting Jarmon and a 16-year-old who is expected to recover.
“Just unfortunate loss of a beautiful soul,” said Noble. “It’s just hard.”
Jarmon’s mother said her daughter went by A.J. and that she was a bright, smart young lady who would always make herself available to help others. She said the 18-year-old was one of a kind, with a smile that would light up a room.
Her track coach noticed the smile, too, especially when he asked her to run a new race.
“She thought about it for a minute and said, ‘OK, I’ll do it,’ with a smile and that’s how I remember her is that dang smile she had when she told me she was going to do it,” said track and field head coach Richard Ladowitz.
So far, police have not released any suspect information.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact Columbus police at 614-645-4545.