News 12 at 6 o'clock / Saturday, July 27, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Music is comforting many at Thankful Baptist Church who are dealing with the loss of 19-year-old Marquez Eubanks.
"He was a cool dude, nicest fella. He would make you laugh all the time," said friend Daiquann Taylor.
Taylor, along with other Laney High students, say it's sad to hear Eubanks, or Smush as his friends called him, is gone. And while the pastor presiding over the service agreed, he says coming together after a tragedy can sometimes be too late.
"We need to be proactive, working together to save these young boys before they get to the point where we need to call folks together to have a prayer vigils," he said.
The reverend didn't stop there; he also urged folks to act when they see crime or violence, even if it's someone they know.
"You know why we can't clean up our streets? Because we won't call the police on our cousins," he said from the pulpit.
He says the cycle of violence, especially the ones we've seen recently hit black youth in our area, can only be stopped with help.
"And until we take responsibility for the whole community, we are not going to stop having tragedy, we are going to keep having funeral, after funeral, after funeral," he told the congregation.
These are all points Taylor says he takes to heart and wants others to understand for one reason.
"We are supposed to be doing something else with our lives -- not killing people, taking lives, taking innocent lives from one another. We are supposed to be doing what God planned for us to do," he said.
So, as Eubanks is taken to his final resting place, Taylor says if you want to use guns, use them in the right setting.
"If you all want to do all that shooting and stuff, join the military -- like me, myself. Join the military," he said.
The 17-year-old charged with killing Eubanks is also a suspect in a gang-related shooting from last month but was denied bond in court yesterday.
Sheriff Richard Roundtree has announced he's working on gang task force and also offers an explorer program for teens. If you want your child to participate, just call the Sheriff's Office and ask for details.