MINEOLA, TX (KLTV) - The Mineola Police Department says the teen who was killed in a Sunday night convenience store shooting was not involved in the argument that led to his death. On Monday, police had originally said the teen was part of a verbal dispute that started inside the store.
Sunday night around 11:30, Christopher Griffin was shot to death behind the EZ Mart convenience store in downtown Mineola. Jason Russell Walters, 41 is charged with Griffin's death.
Tuesday, Griffin's friends gathered to remember him at the Mineola house where he spent most of his time.
"He was always respectful and that's how I got respectful... because I hung around him," explains Keandre Dews, a friend of Griffin's.
Griffin's best friend, Ke'Osha Henley, said she is hurting too much to talk about what happened. However, when surrounded with friends, those who are missing Griffin are able to laugh about the good times.
"He loved to rap," says Kemond Harris with a chuckle. "Like, if we were just sitting here quiet... he'd just start rapping. He'd bust a beat and just start rapping and free-styling and stuff," recalls Harris.
Harris says his grandmother introduced him to Griffin and told the boys they were cousins.
"His family is cool. His brother and them are cool. They're just hanging in there right now. I know it's hard for them," says Harris.
As hard as it is, the community says they're trying to come out of this tragedy stronger.
"He was always a cheerful young man. One who had a lot of aspirations and a kind heart to do anything he could for anyone," says Griffin's pastor, Demethrius Boyd.
Monday night people gathered at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church to hear Griffin's father speak about unity and forgiveness. Pastor Boyd is helping lead the way.
"Both families and communities have been affected, so we've got to continue to find ways to be forgiving and just trust in God's plan with the situation as a whole," he says.
"[Griffin] was a cool person. If you got to meet him, you would love him. He's kind and stuff, but we're taking it hard. It's kinda hard to talk [about it]," says Harris.
The death of a friend is a hard way for this group of Mineola teens to start their summer, but they know they'll make it through with support from each other.
Tuesday we tried to speak with the man charged with Griffin's murder, Jason Russell Walters. Walters is now out of jail on bond, but he was not home on Tuesday afternoon. Neighbors say Walters is a father of two, a good neighbor and a Marine.
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