Community Gathers to Mourn Loss of Meridian Teenager

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Meridian, Mississippi The family and friends of 14-year old Deleon Wilson grieved at Highland Park Tuesday night, just two days after his murder.

Dozens of people joined in prayer at Highland Park Tuesday to honor Wilson, who was a ninth grader at Meridian High School. Many family and friends of Deleon Wilson mourned their loss during the vigil. Reverend Odell Hopkins of West Mount Moriah Baptist Church led the service. Hopkins is a close friend of the family. He says the family has suffered many losses the past couple of months, including losing an uncle to cancer, and another uncle who died suddenly, and now losing Deleon to violence.

"This type of loss can be very burdensome because of the fact it's nothing that you plan, it's nothing you can plan your life around sudden death like that. It's going to take healing on their part and not only healing on their part, but the support of a community, positive support, positive encouragement to let them know that they can get past this too," said Reverend Hopkins.

Hopkins also said that if people can come together before, during and after the tragedy, it can help make a difference in the community. At the end of the prayer vigil, people released balloons into the air in honor of Wilson.

Funeral arrangements for Wilson have been set . Visitation will be Thursday evening at 6 p.m. at Berry and Gardner Funeral Home in Meridian. The funeral itself will be 1 p.m. Friday at Mount Olive Baptist Church.