A large crowd gathered at the Gateway Building Sunday night to celebrate the life of Tommie Forest III, the Peoria High School freshman who was gunned down over the weekend.
Forest was shot and killed by an apparent home intruder early Saturday morning during a sleepover at a friend’s house on North Flora Ave. Three of his friends also suffered non-life threatening injuries in the shooting.
During the Peoria Community Against Violence group’s Murder Stand Down For Peace on Sunday, Forest’s mother made a desperate plea to put an end to street violence.
“It hurts so bad,” said Rebecca Forest. “I just want them to put the guns down and let these children have a life.”
Jordan, one of the other teens who were there when Forest was killed, said Forest was a good friend who didn’t deserve what happened to him.
“It hurts. I can’t even go to sleep at night,” he said.
Saturday’s freshman/sophomore football game was canceled, as was the boys’ soccer game. District 150 says a crisis team was made available to athletes Saturday, and will also be available Monday. When school resumes Tuesday, following the Columbus Day holiday, crisis teams will also be available for students and staff at multiple schools.
“In addition to counseling support, we will provide extra security at Manual Academy and Peoria High School on Tuesday,” said Desmoulin-Kherat in a statement issued Saturday afternoon. “This is a senseless and unnecessary situation that happened within our community, and our students and staff deserve to feel safe and supported as they return to school.”
Forest’s death marked the 14th homicide in Peoria this year. Police have not identified any suspects in the case.
A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help cover funeral costs for Tommie Forest’s family, click HERE to learn more.