Tuesday marks one year since star football player Rashaud Fields was shot and killed just a few hours after he received his diploma from Raines High School.
His killer has not been arrested or even identified.
But his family is not giving up hope that they will get justice for Rashaud, who was active in his community, including in church activities.
Dealing with grief is a daily battle for Janice Fields and her family.
“Everyone cries every day,” said Janice Fields, Rashaud’s mother. “It is hard. It is very hard. We are trying to hold everyone up and it is literally breaking us down.”
It is a sting that still hurts Rashaud’s cousin, Kizzy James.
“This is something I will never forget,” James said. “I am going to always remember every year right after my birthday. He was killed of a senseless act.”
Rashaud was shot and killed at a graduation party in the Highlands neighborhood, and no one has been held accountable.
There is a $13,000 reward for information that lands the person responsible in jail.
“The family is still torn,” Janice said. “We want answers. We want justice.”
Janice visits her son’s room often. She said his bed remains the way he left it.
Three months ago, she donated her son’s clothes to a homeless shelter and gave his video games to their cousins.
“I cried, but it was time,” Janice said. “It was time for me to let Rashaud go and let him rest in peace.”
She said it was the hardest thing she had to do during her year of grief.
Rashaud was a star football player at Raines High School and a gifted wrestler. He was on his way to taking his talents to Keiser University in West Palm Beach on scholarship.
The team honored him last October in what would have been his first home collegiate game.
Rashaud’s family holds on to the good times and memories of the jokester affectionately known as “Dookie.”
“Rashaud loved to dance, play with the kids and [laugh],” Janice said. “That was just him. That was just Rashaud.”
“Every morning or every night, ‘Dookie’ would get up and go and bug his mother or his daddy,” James recalled of her cousin. “He didn’t care. He would say, ‘Daddy, where’s my breakfast? Are you going to fix my breakfast? Mom, I want to go here. I want to go do this. I want to do that.’”
All of that was stolen from the Fields family.
“Have a heart,” Janice begged the person who pulled the trigger. “If you did not mean to do it, or you did not try to do it, show me that you did not. Turn yourself in.”
“The family just wants closure,” James said. “That’s all they want. That is basically the last thing. But you are forgiven.”
Rashaud’s family is honoring him Tuesday night with a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. at Restlawn Memorial Park on Moncrief Road West. It is open to the public.