Dozens of students gathered at Bowie High School Saturday evening to honor the life of Anthony Strather. The senior football player died Thursday after been shot during an altercation between a group of teenagers.
By all accounts, Anthony Strather was a standout football player and an exemplary teammate. He was also well-known and well-liked.
He was said to be a teenager transitioning into manhood and doing it with wisdom and compassion.
"He was beautiful. His soul was beautiful," said Strather's English teacher Loretta Mensah.
She remembers one of the last conversations she had with him.
"He was like 'you guys got all these pictures up here but I'm not up here.' And I was like 'well shut up and come take a picture with us then.'" said Mensah.
Now, through the heartache of loss, the tears, and the hugs, she hasn't forgotten her promise to him.
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"We took the picture. And I was like I'm going to print it out and put it out and put it right there. He was like 'alright I'm gonna come back and see it,'" She said. "So, I'm going to print it off and put it right where I told him I was going to put it."
The Bowie High community embraced and wrote heartfelt messages - an effort to process what just doesn't seem to make sense.
Strather died Thursday after being shot during an altercation police say appeared to involve several teens. They said he may have been trying to break up the fight.
It's been said Strather had a bright future; one snatched away much too soon. And with that, balloons were released into the sky as his fellow classmates were reminded to pursue peace.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that," said a speaker at the vigil.