RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Fla. - The mother and father of a student killed at Southwood Middle School, allegedly at the hands of his friend, spoke to the media today.
"My son was a great kid. He was the only thing I had. He was a kid that I could talk with, have fun with him. We played baseball. He played the violin and he always listened to what I say. And he asked very interesting questions," said Gough's father, Jorge Gough.
Signs of sadness and support adorn the house where Jaime Gough lived with his mother, father and sister. Police say he was nearly decapitated in a school bathroom Tuesday by his friend Michael Hernandez (pictured, below right), 14. Investigators said there appears to be no real motive for the crime, but the murder weapon -- a serrated folding knife -- plastic gloves and blood covered jacket were found in the boy's backpack.
Gough's mother vacillated between grief and anger today as she spoke in Spanish to reporters about her son's violent death at the school where he excelled.
Jorge Gough choked back tears as he spoke out to other children, asking them to make good decisions.
"All I can say to the young kids growing up out there is, please don't do these things. And sorry to my little Jaime. He knows that I'm going to be there for him," he said.
The family also thanked the community for its compassion.
The Hernandez family is not speaking to the media, but a friend of the family, Michael Barnes, did read a hand-written prepared statement today.
"We'd like to express our deepest sympathy and condolences to Jaime's family. We have also lost our son and are trying to cope and understand what has happened," Barnes read.
Neighbors have been stopping by the Hernandez home, where a makeshift sign affixed to the front door reads, "No trespassing. No media."
"They're in my prayers every single day because it's a beautiful good family. And it's a real shock," said neighbor Richard Nelson.
Nelson said his children used to play with Michael Hernandez. He said there were never any signs that something was wrong.
A priest also stopped at the home today.
Wednesday night police searched the home, but they have not commented on what they found.
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