MELVILLE, La. (KLFY) — Friends and family honored a young Melville man shot and killed last week with a parade and candlelight vigil Thursday night.
The shooting happened after an alleged flirting incident angered a gas station employee’s boyfriend, who then reportedly followed two men who allegedly were flirting and shot at their car, causing them to crash.
One person, 20-year-old Wade Smith, was killed. The passenger was injured.
“Man, it’s crazy. We’ve been hurting. It’s like a big dream. It just doesn’t sit right. It’s like a dream that I need to wake up from. Knowing he’s gone just doesn’t feel right,” Smith’s friend, Terry Hills, said.
Smith’s friends, who also call him Shaq, say they can’t believe his life was taken.
“He was a wonderful guy. He was always smiling, clowning. It was never a dull moment with my boy,” Hills added.
“I’m going to miss you, bro. I just love you, man. Everybody knew me and Shaq were close. It hurts, but I’m always going to love you, bro,” Wade’s friend, RJ Robtheglide, said.
Surrounded by nearly the entire town of Melville, his family says what happened to him is heartbreaking.
“The pain of it, how can I explain? The depth of that pain, the hurt not only for my family but for the community as well,” Smith’s cousin, Randy Vaughn, told News 10.
Vaughn says they’re still feeling that hurt every day.
“This is the life of a young man, 20-years-old. So much life and energy that he had, and to see that life just cut short because of reasons yet not fully understood, it is a pain,” he added.
Smith’s family says now they are fighting for justice.
18-year-old Jaden Ardoin faces charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.
20-year-old Jaiman Mason is facing charges of principal to first-degree murder and principal to attempted first-degree murder.