Family, friends, comrades gather for final farewell

By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Gun shots echoed in the air, honoring Tyler Jefferson. Following graduation last May, Jefferson joined the Navy. She was stationed in Pensacola, Florida.

"This is a very very smart lady, and she wanted nothing more than to get out of Tyler and see the world," said Kenya Symonette, a teacher at John Tyler High School.

"She wanted to make a better life for her mother and brothers," said Jo'Vaughn Good, a friend of Jefferson.

But, the 18-year-old's dream was taken away when she was shot to death while jogging near the base.

"My sister, this is the last person I would ever think to be killed...ever," said Andre Jefferson. "I thought she would live to be 100. Outlast me."

Her brother was among hundreds of family and friends who said goodbye. Sharing the memories of a woman who was stranger to none.

"[I loved] her smile, her laugh, the way she joked around, [and] even the way we fought," said Andre Jefferson.

"She was just brilliant," said Symonette. "She just stood out above the crowd."

Part of the crowd gathered at the farewell was her military brothers and sisters, confused by the senseless crime that took one of their own.

"She really had a bright future and it is just a waste," said Bill Aiken, a veteran and Welcome Home Soldiers participant. "It makes me mad. It makes me sad."

Despite the confusion and anger surrounding her death...

"If she was killed in combat, you could understand that, but just jogging down the street? That is really senseless," said Symonette.

Her legacy will last forever.

"I'm going to try to make it in life for you," said Andre Jefferson. "Even though you aren't here. I am going to make it for everybody in my family."

No arrests have been made for Tyler Jefferson's murder.

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