CLARKSBURG, Md. — Friends and family members gathered on Friday evening for a vigil in honor of 23-year-old Javon Gordon, who died in a shooting this week in Boyds.
The event was held at Clarksburg High School, where Gordon played football and graduated in 2016, and came on the same day that investigators announced an arrest in the case.
Rodjuan Orlando Neal-Williams, a 19-year-old from Clarksburg, was charged with second-degree murder in Gordon's death.
According to investigators, Neal-Williams shot and killed Gordon after a verbal dispute between the two on Tuesday along the 12900 block of Ethel Rose Way in Boyds.
Gordon's parents spoke to WUSA 9 at the vigil and said the family knew Neal-Williams.
"He’s our younger son's friend. They played football together," said Gordon's father Michael Short. "We knew the young man. He slept in our home. We fed him.”
With the shooting still bringing plenty of heartbreak on Friday, friends and family gathered at the high school to remember the man they described as kind and outgoing who gave his best effort both on and off the football field.
"He was a good kid and he was genuine," said David Chreky, who helped organize Friday's vigil. "He was always attentive. He loved his sister and his brother. He was always there for them.”
Some held signs with Gordon's picture on it. Others wore t-shirts with special messages to him.
Diego Orrego, one of Gordon's friends who helped organize the vigil with Chreky, said the event helped show what Gordon meant to others.
"Right now, we just want to focus on Javon and his family and letting everyone know how much he was loved and that we will miss him," said Orrego, who also noted the timing of the vigil after the arrest. "We’re not worried about that guy (the suspect) anymore. Right now, we’re worried about Javon, his family and just taking care of them and making sure that everything is done the correct way.”
Gordon's family thanked the large crowd that came out on Friday to show support.
However, moving forward, Gordon's father said the death of his son would leave a lasting wound.
"It’s bad enough that we have to mourn. That other family has to mourn too," Stone said. "It was more than one person affected throughout this. It’s that one life is gone.”
Friends have also organized a GoFundMe page to help Gordon's family pay for funeral expenses.
As of Friday night, it had raised around $25,000.