Hundreds, including residents, students and teachers, braved the bitter cold temperatures to attend the candlelight vigil of a popular Coleman Junior High student, Wednesday night.
Spencer Nobles was shot and killed last Thursday, according to the Waxahachie Police Department.
Mourners showed up in droves at Lee Pen Park in Waxahachie, decked out in Spencer’s favorite color – red.
“He impacted the community a lot,” said Dalecia Nobles, Spencer’s mother. “He was a smart and talented kid.”
As candles burned, family members and others in the community conducted a ceremony around a table showcasing framed pictures of Spencer. Several people wept as a chorus of “How Great is our God” was raised through the crowd.
The youth, who made up the majority of those in attendance, were encouraged to make positive life decisions and parents were implored to be active in their children’s lives.
“I grew up like a lot of these kids here,” said Addison Alexander, Spencer’s cousin. “I was a troubled teenager myself and I had an opportunity that changed my life when I was about 16 years old due to some of the coaches at the high school. It made a big impact in my life. So, I just come out here to give encouraging words to the youth.”
Alexander is a co-founder and vice present of Mentors of Young Kings, a mentorship program for boys in Waxahachie with about 20 male volunteers serving as role models.
“That’s the good thing abut Mentors of Young Kings, to help give these kids another outlet, to give them a positive environment and positive male groups,” Alexander pointed out.
While Spencer was not a part of Alexander’s program, he was a member of a boys mentorship program at Coleman Jr. - the Original Gentlemen of Coleman or the OG Squad.
Memories of Spencer
Teachers and staff of Clift Elementary and Coleman Jr. showed up to pay tribute to the student they said they knew very well.
“I taught his mother in first grade. That’s how far I go back,” recalled Anita Barnes, a counselor at Clift where Spencer was a student before he moved on to Coleman Jr. “The staff grew to love him and his family. We’re here this evening to support.”
Jaylon Wallace, like many of his peers, is trying to cope with the loss of his school friend.
“He was funny, smart and intelligent,” Wallace explained. “He made everybody laugh.”
Those sentiments were echoed by those closest to the 15-year-old.
“He was a joy to be around. He was the life of the party,” swore Anticia Lacy, Spencer’s cousin. “He was pretty popular because everybody liked to be around him. He was like a celebrity.”
“He was the life of the party,” added Keisha Butler, a family friend. “When Spencer entered the room, you knew Spencer was there. He was just a great kid.”
“He always said he was going to be famous,” stated Lanishia Gardner, Spencer’s aunt.
“He was a good kid, energetic kid, a comedian, a high-spirited kid,” Alexander reminisced.
More than a week after Spencer’s death, there is no information on the circumstances that might have led to the shooting.
“It was an accidental death” and “no one is to blame,” his mother wrote in a Facebook post last Saturday.
The teen’s relatives, however, offered their own insights.
“Wrong place, wrong time, wrong situation,” answered Gardner when asked what went wrong. “People ought to know, your life is all about choices and if you take the wrong choice, then you can not be here today.”
“It’s so unfortunate that kids get in bad situations and bad things happen,” Alexander said.
“Hopefully this will wake up our community, not just our community but all over because gun violence, whether it's accidental or on purpose, it’s senseless,” Butler responded.
Spencer’s mother is relying on her faith to see her through.
“I Just wake up and pray,” she said. “God has given me the strength and I just hope that he will never put more on me than I can bear.”
A funeral service is at noon Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Emmanuel Upperroom C.O.G.I.C in Waxahachie.