COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ)– It was a somber Monday evening at Hammond High School in Columbia as those closest to William Riley Jr. gathered for a vigil held in his honor.
The story behind the tribute dates back to last Tuesday in Laurel.
Police found the 18-year-old shot multiple times in a car on Millbrook Lane and Sandy Spring Road.
Authorities say it looked as if Riley tried to get away before crashing into another car.
Police say they believe the shooting was targeted, but say they don’t have a motive.
For his friends, the loss is a thing of nightmares.
“Will lives beyond his physical form, you know? He’s always going to be there for us,” said Vejae Rodriquez.
His family was presented with his high school football jersey.
In a heart felt speech dedicated to her son, his mother called him “imperfectly perfect.”
“There’s nothing that anyone can say or whisper to me that I don’t know about my son,” she said.
His father and aunt were overcome by the amount of love shown by the community.
“He touched a lot of lives, that’s apparent, yes, his spirit will live on, we love him,” Will’s father said.
“We have our memories of Will, but to see the high school community come out and share their memories it was very special for all of us,” his aunt said.
A community that is now showing they now stand firmly behind the grieving family and will be there to support them through it all.