OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - A community was heartbroken as friends and family of Jakell Mitchell gathered in downtown Opelika on Monday night to celebrate an amazing life that was cut tragically short.
"It's just a way that someone shouldn't die and it's somebody you love so much, you wouldn't want to see them in that predicament he was in…so many times, he took a bullet to the chest and you just...it hurts," explained Kaylan Hamby, who witnessed Jakell's death.
"Now I can only imagine what if. I can only imagine, you know?" said Jakell's father Mario Mitchell. "What if four more years. What if when he told me 'I'm about to step out a little bit dad' what if I would have said 'Just chill tonight.'"
Monday night saw a tremendous outpouring of support from a community that Jakell loved and that loved him back. Jakell's father says he's amazed by the support he's received in the day following his son's tragic murder.
"I didn't know. I had no idea it would go that far"” Mario said. "You know, people say 'you hadn't seen ESPN, you hadn't seen CNN. I didn't see any of that. I was tending to my family, not even knowing that it would reach so many people. I see C.J Mosley on his shoe, all the Alabama Quarterbacks from the last four or five years 'Hey, Rest in Peace Jakell' I never would have imagined."
The funeral for Jakell Mitchell will be held Saturday, Dec.20 at noon CST at Greater Peace Baptist Church in Opelika at 650 Jeter Avenue.
The family has not specified whether the service will be open to the public.