Push to Make Community Better Following the Death of Murdered Teen

DES MOINES, Iowa — Family and friends of a young man killed on New Year’s Day say he “was working to better his life.”

Dozens gathered at Good Park near the Drake Neighborhood for a candlelight vigil to honor, Frederico Thompson Jr. on Tuesday. The 18 – year – old was shot and killed outside of the 508 Nightclub on Des Moines’ south side.

It was clear, the victim was well – known and liked by many. Several people in crowd fought back tears during songs and prayers. The pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church in Des Moines, Reverend Alex Crawford Jr., urged young people to take responsibility for their actions.

“Let’s stop the violence. Can you do that? Let’s stop. Mothers hearts are aching. My heart is aching because young men are taking each others lives.”

Thompson’s cousin, Jimmie Shields III, called for people to spread positivity in the midst of negativity.

“There’s beefrederico-thompsonn a lot of senseless activity going on for the past six months or so. Let’s do what we can to bring it together. Lets do what we can to make a difference for the better.”

Shields says since his cousin’s death, he has had to ward off people on social media questioning why Thompson was at the nightclub because of his age.

“I don’t know why he was there. I’ve seen a lot on social media of people criticizing the fact that he was there. For those that do that, I encourage them to think about where they were at when they were a teenager,” says Shields.  “Not everyone makes the perfect decision but just because he was out after – hours as a teenager doesn’t mean his life should have been taken away.”

Shields adds Thompson was trying to better his life so he could provide for his one – year – old daughter, Carson. Now, it’s up to family members to teach Thompson’s daughter about the type of man her father was.

“Fred was a great person. He was the person who would always be there for you to help you out whenever you needed help. If you were down, he’d do anything to make you smile.”

Police have not made any arrests or named a suspect in the case. Funeral services are planned for Thompson early next week.