One week after he celebrated his son’s high school graduation, Freddie Richardson was preparing for something entirely unexpected: the teen’s funeral.
Trevon Richardson was an 18-year-old high school football standout. He was killed on Memorial Day, days after he walked across the stage May 24 to receive his diploma from Cedar Grove High School in Ellenwood.
“I’m going out to make funeral arrangements for my son, which I never thought I would be doing,” Freddie Richardson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday. “I thought he would be making them for me someday.”
Police have arrested Detavion McDay, 18, in connection with his death. McDay is being held in the DeKalb County jail on a murder charge.
“I preached to him over and over,” Nicole Richardson, the teen’s mother, told Channel 2 Action News. “Mind who you draw your attention to and who you’re with during that time out of school.”
Richardson had plans to attend Valdosta State University in the fall, where he hoped to continue playing football. Those plans were snuffed out Monday night, when Richardson was fatally shot in the parking lot of The Life at Peppertree Circle apartments near Decatur.
Freddie Richardson said he thought he’d take the summer to get his son ready for the move away from home and into adulthood.
“My son, he was a good kid,” Freddie Richardson said. “It’s just unbelievable.”
Since the school year ended last week, four teenagers have been killed in metro Atlanta.
Like Richardson, Joshua Torrance had recently graduated from high school.
Wednesday, barely five days after he received his diploma from The B.E.S.T. Academy in Atlanta, Torrance was shot in the back and killed at the southwest Atlanta apartment complex where he lived. The 18-year-old planned to go to Albany State University in the fall to study engineering or architecture, family members said.
Grant Antonio Payton, 16, had just started his first job at Chick-fil-A. Payton and his friend, 19-year-old Tyree Johnson, were killed early Tuesday in the city of South Fulton after a fast food run, Payton’s mother told Channel 2. A 15-year-old boy survived the shooting and is stable. His name has not been released.
On Wednesday, hundreds gathered in Richardson’s Ellenwood neighborhood for a vigil in his honor, Channel 2 reported. They held candles, released dozens of green balloons and shared their memories of him.
Richardson’s Cedar Grove High School coach, Jimmy Smith, told the news station he viewed Trevon as a son.
“He played football, basketball, ran track (on the) state championship team,” Smith said. “A great kid all around.”
Freddie Richardson became emotional as he reflected on what the evening meant to his family.
“The love that everybody showed us yesterday, his friends and the vigil, that was pretty much a two-day, ongoing event,” he said. “I really know how much my son was loved as well as how much I loved him.”
He asks that that the community keep his family in their prayers.
“We're looking for justice in this process,” Freddie Richardson said.
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