The last bit of daylight shined through the trees as several dozen friends and family members of Shadrach Hall-Turner greeted each other in the cold with sorrowful hugs at a candlelight vigil at Audubon Park on Sunday evening.
“Loud and boisterous,” said Chad Hoyt, Hall-Turner’s guardian and uncle, describing his nephew. “He just lit up every room he went into.”
The 15-year-old, often referred to by his friends and family members as “Shad,” was shot and killed at a home in Reardan last week in an incident described by Police Chief Andy Manke as a “horrible misfortune.”
Five teenage boys, including Hall-Turner, met at a friend’s house in Reardan after school was canceled Wednesday due to snow. The teens were playing video games in the basement of the home when one of them produced a handgun, police said.
At some point a round was discharged from the handgun, striking Hall-Turner. It hasn’t been determined how the handgun was discharged, but Manke said the killing was “not a crime of hate or violence.”
Hall-Turner’s death sent shock waves through the small town of Reardan, which numbers fewer than 1,000 people.
“He was just a really loving, special kid. He would do anything I asked him,” said his great aunt Mary Hoyt-Sims, another guardian, at the vigil. “I’m still in shock and disbelief. It’s just not right.”
Hall-Turner and his little brother bounced back and forth between the homes of different extended family members throughout their lives, the family said. Their family life changed dramatically several years ago after the death of their father. However, their extended family stepped in to help raise them in Reardan and Spokane Valley, they said.
“Our family is very close,” Hoyt, Hall-Turner’s uncle, said. “One hundred percent, we’re there no matter what. It’s almost like a family slogan.”
Everyone who knew Hall-Turner described him as a promising athlete who competed on wrestling teams and in youth league football.
“It didn’t matter which piece of sports equipment he picked up, he had talent,” Hoyt said.
Hall-Turner had been playing in youth sports leagues since he was 5, Hoyt said.
“He wanted to be in the NFL. He wanted to be known worldwide and had the ambition to make it happen,” said Jody Ober, another one Hall-Turner’s aunts. “He just liked to be around people, and he made so many friends wherever he went.”
Friends Jakobie Jenkins, 15, and Brevin Boleck, 14, both recalled their favorite memories of Hall-Turner at the vigil, playing sports with him and occasionally “getting in trouble” with their coaches.
“He’d keep it straight though,” said Jenkins, a Rogers High School student. “He’d run his laps.”
The family said they are organizing a funeral in Spokane Valley scheduled for Thursday.
A 16-year -old was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with the shooting.