East High Superintendent speaks about young gun violence victim: “We could’ve learned so much from him.”
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – It was an emotional day for the family, and friends of 16-year-old Jaquise Davis. Monday they celebrated his life at a service for the teen who was shot, and killed as he walked home from work earlier this month.
News10NBC was at the church during the service, and spoke to those who knew him well.
People say Jaquise will be best remembered for the person that he was and for the goals he was trying to achieve in life.
“I would never think that something like this would ever happen,” said Jaquise’s younger brother Keon Hill.
Two weeks to the day after 16-year-old Jaquise Davis was shot, and killed over 100 people attended his Celebration of Life Service at Baber AME Church. Hill called it a bittersweet day.
“I’m not really sad cause I know he’s not in pain. He don’t have to struggle. He don’t have to worry about nothing anymore, but it’s like I wish I had him back,” said Hill.
Jaquise attended East High School, and was walking from his job at Wal-Mart. He was just steps from his home on the night of the shooting. Hill shared with us the last text message they shared between them.
“He was telling me that he loved me. He was like you’ll always be my little brother. I’m always going to be there for you. I’m always going to be, I’m always going to have your back no matter what, and if I’m gone, I’m, still going to watch over you,” said Hill.
Most of the people who attended the service wore black and red, Jaquise’s favorite colors. Other family members we talked to say it’s painful having to celebrate the life, then bury their loved one. His cousin Nyala Matos says this feels unreal.
“It wasn’t his time. I could see if it was somebody that we all knew had lost their way, but he didn’t lose his way. He was just beginning to start striving for it,” said Matos.
Following the service, Jaquise’s casket was first taken by a hearse from the church to a waiting horse drawn carriage. It led the rest of the funeral procession up to Riverside Cemetery for the burial. Everyone is remembering him in their own special way.
“He was humble. He was calm. He stayed to himself. He wasn’t with that drama. He wasn’t with the beef,” said Hill.
Close family friend Teresa Kelly says she was touched by his death.
“It’s very sad when you see a 16-year-old who has so many ambitions to go to college. Wanted to be successful, and it all ended in a homicide,” said Kelly.
East High School Superintendent Dr. Shaun Nelms sent out a Tweet saying in part, “Burying a student is never easy to process.”
“Any death of a child is tough, but for me it’s often, little bit more difficult when that child is the same age of my own children. So my son in this case. My daughter a few years ago when we lost one of our students,” said Nelms.
He shared his memories of Jaquise.
“He was a talented student academically. A loving family. His dad was always at the school, and showing up to support him. So I would say you know it’s sad to think about the promise that was stolen, and the gifts that were ripped away from us. We could’ve learned so much from him,” said Nelms.
Rochester Police are still looking for the shooter in this case.