Opelika community says goodbye to Jakell Mitchell at public viewing

Opelika community says goodbye to Jakell Mitchell at public viewing

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Orange and navy ribbons hang on the lamp posts outside Harris Funeral Home in Opelika.

Inside a heartbroken community says goodbye to 18-year-old Jakell Mitchell for the last time.

"He was a wonderful person. Anybody that knew Jakell, knew he was a wonderful person to the whole community and out love just goes out to him and his family," explains family friend, Linda Ware.

Mitchell, an Auburn University red shirt freshman football player and Opelika native, was shot and killed shortly after midnight Sunday, December 14, at the Tiger Lodge Apartments in Auburn.

Auburn police arrested 22-year-old Markale Hart hours later and charged him with Mitchell's murder.

Authorities say the shooting was sparked by an argument.

"Opelika, Auburn, the little time he was with the university, he just touched so many lives," says friend, Lorenzia Smith.

Smith was one of hundreds of people who came to public viewing Friday, December 19, to pay their respects to the Mitchell family.

Smith says he and Jakell used to train together and told us the football star was an inspiration to those around him.

"He was a very good guy. He was dedicated to what he was doing. He was real motivated and he pushed the other guys as well. He was just a very good guy," says Smith.

Now a community continues to mourn with the holidays approaching.

They hope and pray the violence will stop.

"They are in my prayers at this time and God is good, he doesn't make any mistakes," explains Ware.

Mitchell's funeral will be held Saturday, December 20, at Greater Peace Baptist Church on Jeter Avenue in Opelika.

The service will begin at noon.

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