Candlelight vigil brings community together - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Candlelight vigil brings community together

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) – Nearly a week after a Columbus teen was killed in an accidental shooting, his friends and family gathered at one of his favorite spots, the baseball field, to honor the memory of 18-year-old Joseph Conner Weeks.

Hand-in-hand Conner Weeks' mother walked onto Hardaway High School's baseball field with the boys who were with her son the last moments of his life.  One of them, Morgan Springer, is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter for Weeks' accidental shooting death.

However, at the candlelight vigil to honor Week's memory, the criminal charges seemed distant with the Springer and Weeks families and hundreds of students, like Tyler Dukes, gathered to remember the 18-year-old they lost.

"It's something we can never forget no matter what we do.  No matter how many t-shirts we get made or decals we make or anything like that we will never forget Conner just because of he was in our hearts," said Dukes.

Dukes was a pallbearer at Weeks' funeral.  He and other students lined the baseball field with red bags leading to a special place on the pitcher's mound for Weeks family so they could share stories about Weeks and let his family know how much they loved him.

"We would always just talk about absolutely nothing, but it was always some of the best times I've even had with him when we were just talking about random stuff really," said Dukes.

"Conner was anything you could ask for in a friend.  He was a really good guy and could cheer anybody up," said Matthew Boone.

Boone says Weeks would be taken aback by all the people honoring his memory.

"He would be really thankful.  He would thank everybody.  He might even cry a little bit."

Both Boone and Dukes say they will never forget their funny, kind-hearted friend and all the ways he touched the lives of so many.

"He's never going to leave us.  Even though he may not be here on this planet, he's always going to be with us," said Boone.

"One day, we'll all see him again.  He's watching over everybody right now.  So, he's watching over anybody and everybody.  He's our guardian angel now," said Dukes.

Weeks attended Hardaway High School for three years until transferring to Shaw High School.  The students of Shaw plan to wear red, Weeks' favorite color, to the last football game of the season to honor their friend's memory.

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