Madison High School students led a powerful vigil for 14-year-old Shiloh Hampton, Wednesday evening outside the school. About 150 students, family and friends gathered at dusk, many arriving by bus and on foot to mourn their classmate, who died Wednesday morning of gunshot wounds sustained Monday afternoon near Portland's Lloyd Center shopping mall.
Cieria Davis, a sophomore, acted as host for the event. The Skanner News Video: Memorial
"Shiloh was a real good person who was funny and he had this little pretty boy smile," she said. "He loved him some girls and some football. He loved a lot of people – he loved a lot."
"We need to tell our families we love them every single day," she said. "People fought to be where we are today, who are gone now, and we have a chance to make a difference in the world."
Davis said her cousin Taylor Rose and friend De'javonte Benton helped organize the memorial.
Shiloh was remembered as a boy who always had a smile on his face, and eye for the girls. His foster father Roy Washington said the gathering showed how much Shiloh was loved. His sister, Antoinette Preston, said Shiloh was a big kid who loved to play around and laugh. His brother, Anthony Preston, read a poem and said Shiloh would not want his friends and family to be unhappy, but instead to love one another and take care of one another. He spoke about the fun he had with his brother, especially when they headed out to flirt with girls. Shiloh had confidence, he said.
"We were just two cocky, light-skinned guys."
Cody Felker, a football player, spoke about Shiloh's determination on the field. He played for Madison's Junior Varsity team and scored. Even when the team was losing, Shiloh gave his all till the very end.
"He never gave up," he said. "He was one of the best guys I ever met."
Shaquita Louis, mother of missing teen Yashanee Vaughn said she had been withdrawing into private grief, because who else in the world would understand her pain. Now she offered words of love and support to Shiloh's foster mother.
"She's not going to walk through this by herself," she said. "I'm going to walk through this with you."
Teachers, staff from the Madison office, Principal Joe Malone and Pastor Matt Hennessee also spoke, calling for students to be family to one another and to look out for one another.
"Let's be strong for one another," said Sharon, who explained she had lost her own son to violence. "Because losing your life at that age is very senseless."
Cieria called for a moment of silence to remember all the good times they had experienced with Shiloh. Despite the rain and cold, students stood together for a long time, gathering close together around his family and close friends: grieving, remembering the good times and comforting one another.