Mother of slain Chesterfield teen pleads for Matoaca High School to honor him at graduation

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Loved ones of a Chesterfield teen who was murdered last year are hoping the school district will honor him at what would have been his high school graduation ceremony this year.

Eric Reid was supposed to graduate at the end of the month from Matoaca High School, but was tragically killed last year. Erica Jones, his mother, is now pleading for a cap and gown or a way to remember him.

“I got to push through for my other kids, but I still am hurting so bad. It hurts me every day,” Jones said. “I cry every day still.”

Jones lost her son, Eric, a week before his 17th birthday.

“He was talking about his birthday so much and it just didn’t go that way,” Jones said.

Chesterfield Police responded to Hickory Road for a shooting the night of Feb. 20, 2021, and found that Eric had been shot, just down the street from his home.

Eric was a student at Matoaca High School. His family members and close friends said he was outgoing, goofy and loved to fish.

“He had to be known everywhere he went. Whether it was doing something mischievous or doing something so funny or making noises,” Jones said.

According to Kiara Edwards, Eric’s friend, he was the “life of the party.”

At the time of his tragic death, he was working at both Cookout and McDonald’s. He had also just proposed to his girlfriend.

Eric would’ve graduated this year in the class of 2022.

Now, his mother is hoping the high school will honor him.

“He was so well known with the school and the community,” Jones said. “The school knows how hard I fought for this. Don’t take that from me, please. This is all I wanted. I just want to be there and be a part of that.”

Eric’s close friends called him their brother. Tevione Braxton, Jamont Taylor, Tevion Walker and Devion Davis told 8News that not a day goes by that they don’t think about the loss.

They believe he deserves to be remembered. Jones said she received a phone call from the school to tell her that they’re working on it.

“Just don’t treat him like another dead kid out here,” Walker said.

Joshua Branch-Howell is a former classmate of Eric’s.

“I think that he should be honored and remembered at the graduation. They should leave a seat open with his cap and gown. When they call his name, we’ll say long live Eric,” Branch-Howell said.

No arrests have been made in the case. Anyone who has any information about the shooting that took Eric’s life is asked to call Chesterfield Police or Crime Solvers.



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