WKU Students Hold Vigil for Homicide Victim

By Melissa Warren | 

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Larry Thomas' father, Tariq Shabazz, says a burden has been lifted knowing his son's accused killers are behind bars.

"It gave me some comfort, but it didn't take the fact away that my son has lost his life," said Larry Thomas' father Tariq Shabazz.

A life several students, most of whom never even knew him, celebrated and mourned as they marched across campus with his father. One of them who organized the vigil, says she only had one day of class with him that should have been many more.

"It just kind of hit me hard because it was like, we would have been around each other Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the whole semester, and now he's gone so it's just really sad," said Delta Sigma Theta Sorority member and vigil organizer Kinya Embry.

Embry says tonight was about remembering Thomas in a positive light.

"I want people to remember that Larry was a very lovable young man," said Shabazz.

Shabazz says Larry's dream was to attend WKU and walk on for the basketball team and while Shabazz says he knew his son had spent some of his time mixing in what he says were the wrong crowds, but he had faith he'd turn around.

"Larry used to tell me when he used to talk to me all the time that he needed to get off the streets. Not because he didn't feel safe, just because he didn't want to be another statistic. He'd seen violence. He'd seen enough of his friends go to jail, and enough of his friends get murdered, so when he talked to me about coming back to school, he didn't want to end up like them. The unfortunate thing about the whole situation was, Larry rerouted himself from danger right back into danger. That's the most unfortunate thing as a parent that I deal with. The fact that my son wanted away, and he did the right thing to get away, and he still ended up facing the same circumstances that he tried to avoid," said Shabazz.

Shabazz also said he is deeply grateful to the Bowling Green Police Department for making sure his murder didn't go unsolved.

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