DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – Terrance “TeeJay” Jackson would have celebrated his 16th birthday on Wednesday. Instead, his mother, Tronicia Jackson, and his father, Terrance Jackson Sr., were attending a vigil to mourn their son.
On Thursday, the teenage boy’s murder was at the heart of a group discussion about gun violence at the Dr. Leo J. Robb, Jr. Memorial Gymnasium in Deerfield Beach.
Rev. Herold Westly, of the Newborn Holiness Church in Pompano Beach, said the group was hoping to come up with ideas “to stop the black on black violence” and to “create other alternatives.”
The grieving parents saw Terrance, a Deerfield Beach High School football player, die on Saturday after Royce Freeman shot him in the neck, police said. The sophomore died in his mother’s arms across the street from the Victory City Church in Riviera Beach.
Freeman, 47, also died after another gunman returned fire, police said. Tequila Johnson attended the Deerfield Beach event on Thursday. She said the shooting could have been avoided.
“He was a child, and he lost his life for something ridiculous,” Johnson said.
The Riviera Beach Police Department is still investigating the fatal shooting.