Lemoore community rallies to help reeling family of murdered 16-year-old

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The smiling teenager on their posters is 16-year-old Wayna Jones, and friends say the sophomore lived with his family at Westberry Square Apartments where he was fatally stabbed multiple times last week. (KFSN)

A Lemoore family is preparing to bury their 16-year-old son as detectives continue to look for his killer.

The crime happened at an apartment complex where the family also lives. Friends held a fundraiser Monday to help the family move away from a place with so much pain.

Their voices rang from every corner of the Lemoore intersection. It was a chorus of pleas from friends who lost a brother trying to help a family forever without a son.

"We've been friends for a few years, and we are out here busting our butts to help a mom bury her kid," said Serena Gonzalez, a friend of the victim.

The smiling teenager on their posters is 16-year-old Wanya Jones. Friends say the sophomore lived with his family at Westberry Square Apartments where he was fatally stabbed multiple times last Wednesday.

He is the city's first homicide of the year.

"His family doesn't need to worry about paying anything," friend Robert McKinney exclaimed. "They need to worry about mourning and healing, we are all a family."

While detectives hunt down potential suspects, McKinney along with several other friends decided to hold a fundraiser in Wanya's memory.

While their focus was to collect donations, McKinney hopes his friend's death can stand for something.

"His life was lost, his mom's son is gone, for what? Because they felt like it?" he said.

The group's impassioned pleas drew dozens of drivers to stop and give. The spare change and bills quickly filling up collection containers.

"They'll ask me if he was my friend or anything, and I said, 'Yeah, we were really good friends,'" Gonzalez said.

After more than an hour on these streets, their voices were hoarse but friends say healing from this tragedy will have to come later.

"I will in time, but for now, I need to be strong and get the community to give back to this little boy who deserves it," McKinney said.

With the killer unidentified and a funeral still to plan, it's still not their time to grieve.

Related Topics:
kings countyhomicide investigationLemoore
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