Teachers remember slain JT graduate - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Teachers remember slain JT graduate

By Taylor Hemness themness@kltv.com

 Patricia Grunden remembers Tyler Jefferson from her days at John Tyler High School.

She says "It kind of hits you like a wave. Today it did. And it brought back a lot of feelings, and one of the things I thought today was how much more can we take this year."

Patricia says she'll never forget the moment that Tyler won a first place medal in district UIL journalism.

With the news of Tyler's death, that memory came flooding back.

 "One of our administrators had sent out an e-mail, and I was in the middle of teaching a class, and I had just glanced down for a second, and I just gasped. Immediately, my students knew something was wrong," said Patricia.

Algebra teacher Kenya Symonette also knew Tyler through UIL.

She says the two of them even went shopping for a prom dress, and she remembers when Tyler made the decision to join the navy.

Kenya told KLTV 7, "She decided that she wanted to go into the navy, because she wanted to see the world. She got a full scholarship that would have been over $100,000  toward her education. I mean, that's all you heard, up until the time that she left, she was like, 'OK, I'm getting out of Tyler, I'm going to do something with my life.'"

 Fellow veteran Jimmie Bybee taught Tyler's engineering class.

He says she could have done anything she wanted to do. Today, as the news spread on campus, he used Tyler's story to teach other students just how fragile life can be.

Jimmie said "I put one of these pictures up on the board for the students, and I said 'Look, y'all think you're invincible, and you're going to live forever. And here's a student that was here last semester. And she went off base was killed in a robbery. Life goes just that quick, and we never know what it's going to bring.'" 

Teachers tell KLTV 7 that Tyler has a younger brother who is a freshman at John Tyler High.

 

So far, no arrests have been made in this shooting.

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