SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – A community is making a plea for peace, after the deaths of two students, most recently George Walker Jr.
The two young athletes both attended Springfield High School, dominated the football field and now share the same tragic fate.
The latest victim of violence… 21-year-old Walker Jr. was gunned down in broad daylight Friday on the 200 block of Grand Avenue near Lowry Street.
His killer is still at large.
The man’s death comes after the shooting of Jeffrey Wellington on Easter.
A 17-year-old is in custody, facing murder charges in connection with his death.
Many said it’s simply senseless violence taking away the lives of promising youths.
“I mean springfield itself is sad I don’t understand why this happened. I don’t understand why the loss of life is needed,” said Carlin Pritchet, a former teammate and friend of George Walker Jr.
2NEWS spoke with George Walker Jr.’s mother, Kelly Walker, and told us she’s still coming to grips with this tragic loss.
She’s being supported by family and the community, who say Wellington and Walker Jr.’s death should not go in vain.
In two weeks, Walker, known to most as #5, was headed to Georgia military academy where he was expected to dominate the field.
Pritchet said he had no doubt that the running back would have excelled.
Like most, he’s struggling to deal with the loss.
“From what I see everyone is taking it really hard especially with George being such a phenomenal athlete I mean he’s probably one of the best guys I’ve ever seen strap on a pair of cleats and catch a football in my life,” he said.
As he reflected with 2NEWS, he said most will remember #5’s amazing game against Wayne High School when Walker Jr. ran in a touchdown from a kick off, in zone to in zone.
“If I could say one last thing to George I would probably say you’re one heck of a person and to always keep your head up and never look down and just continue doing what you’re doing always make people smile be who you are live life to the fullest.”
The Coroner’s Office has released Walker Jr.’s body; family members said tomorrow will be the first time they’re able to see George since his tragic death.
They plan move to forward by celebrating his life and his powerful impact on the community.