Family, friends honor 18-year-old killed in Chester Creek Trail shooting
Friends and family gathered at a bridge along the Chester Creek Trail to remember the 18-year-old Thomas Williams who was killed last weekend.
Anchorage Police say a 12-year-old boy shot Williams during a fight in the woods that involved other juveniles.
Williams made an impression on a lot of people.
"He was a kind soul, he wouldn't hurt anyone," Kalo Vaimili, a close friend of Williams, said as she sobbed. "A kid like Thomas didn't deserve this.”
The Vaimilis said Williams was like family to them.
"It hurts me the most because he called me dad, you know," Roy Vaimili said as he too fought back tears. "I never thought he's going to leave early like this. I miss him. That's my other son, you know."
Williams attended the Alaska Military Youth Academy. John Duke, who served as his platoon leader, talked about Williams’ time as a cadet.
Duke said Williams was awarded with the distinction of most improved cadet when he graduated. The platoon leader also called for solutions to youth violence.
"This is not the first death of youth we've had," Duke said. "There's probably at least four cadets of mine that I've had to bury or do this in the past two years, and enough is enough."
Williams’ platoon presented his boots and placed them on the bridge. Friends and family set flowers and candles beside them as a final tribute.
"What I would want people to remember about him, he was really a sweet, humble, the most sweetest kid," said Filomena Vaimili.
The funeral service for Thomas Williams will take place on Friday at the First Covenant Church in Anchorage.
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