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Shooting victim remembered at vigil
Teenager shot outside his own home
Rodtavis Platt’s friends and family members gathered Wednesday for a candlelight vigil at the intersection of Welborn Street and MLK Jr. Drive to honor the slain teenager. - photo by Photo by Lewis Levine
An estimated 125 family members and friends of Rodtavis Platt came out Wednesday for a candlelight vigil in honor of the teen who was gunned down one week ago on Welborn Street.
The crowd gathered at the intersection of Welborn and MLK Jr. Drive to remembered Platt who, when he was a youngster, aspired to be a physician. Theresa Platt talked about her son’s dream to go into medicine.  
“He wanted to be a doctor to help people, he would tell me when he was growing up, and he said he wanted to take care of me,” Theresa Platt recalled as she stood in front of the home she shared with her son and accepted mourners’ hugs and condolences. The house is within steps of where Platt was gunned down.
The intersection was closed to traffic as the crowd sang and listened to spiritual songs and scripture readings.  Tears flowed freely as mourners held hands and recited the Lord’s Prayer.
Rodtavis Platt’s aunt, Eunice Platt, wept uncontrollably throughout the 20-minute service. 
Prayers were offered as candles were lit, and Platt’s mother’s face remained inexpressive as she held a candle during the vigil.
Hinesville Mayor Pro Tem Charles Frasier and 5th District County Commissioner Gary Gilliard also attended.
“We want to thank everyone for coming out this afternoon as we pay respect to our deceased brother and show support for the family,” Gilliard said. “It’s an honor for me to be here today to show support for the Platt family, a family that I’ve known for years. All the boys, Jerry, Frank, Ricky, Theresa, and it’s a tragedy, you know, when something like that happens right in the heart of our city.
“This is our neighborhood and in times like this the community has to come together, and we’re here tonight to show support for the Platt family,” he said.
Frasier also spoke to the crowd. “I was just listening to the scripture that was being read and it talked about being a friend and we should love the Lord our God. And secondly, we need to love our neighbor, and that’s what we’re doing tonight,” he said. “We’re showing the love and compassion to those who are sorrowful. You know it’s important that we reach out to the community, that we reach out to our friends and show them that we have compassion and that we will support them, and that’s what we’re doing here.”
Theresa Platt said she is having a hard time raising the money to bury her son, who is schedule to be interred this weekend. The family is accepting donations and they passed around a bucket during the vigil.
“We are taking donations to help bury Rodtavis,” she said. “I don’t know what we’re going to do if we don’t raise enough by the time of his funeral.”
Donations can be made at the Fort Stewart Credit Union in memory of Rodtavis Platt. 
After the vigil Theresa Platt thanked everyone who supported her and her family during the past week. 
“I don’t know what I would have done if these  people who came out tonight hadn’t been here to show me support and keep me motivated,” she said.
Sanford Jackson, a Marine stationed in Virginia, and Quentan Coleman, an Army soldier stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., have been charged with Platt’s murder. Bond has been denied for both suspects.
An identified teenager was arrested, but later released. He has not been charged, according to Hinesville Police Department Detective Tracey Howard.
The shooting appears to have stemmed from an altercation Platt had with a member of Jackson’s family, the detective said.
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