Vigil remembers Lexington murder victim, takes back the park

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The yellow tape is gone and in its place are balloons, and smiles, and memories of Antonio Franklin, Jr., who was shot and killed in Duncan Park in April.

"I hope it opens people's eyes to see reality. Life ain't no joke," said Hunter Robinson, a friend of Franklin's.

One month to the day that the 21-year-old was shot in the park his family, friends, and the community gathered to remember his life and commit to making it a positive day with a step forward to ending the violence.

"Today is a very special day, not just because we're celebrating Antonio's death," started Anita Franklin, the victim's mother, "but because the north side entire community is coming up with solutions to protect our parks and our children."

"Hopefully it's changed the community. Hopefully it opens everybody's eyes to know that we don't need guns out here, we don't need to be killing nobody," added Robinson.

"What happened in this park is unacceptable, there were children that had been swinging on the swings. To no disregard, they came into the park and started shooting. That's not acceptable," described Franklin, "They need to be dealt with, but we also need to be able to have our kids be able to come here and play."

On this evening, the group gathered to take back the park with the motto, "let's get better."

"Northside is where I've grown up and it would mean a lot for me to see changes," said Franklin.

"The fact that his mom is smiling, I love that. The fact that we're all here smiling together, we're all coming together, I love it," said Taylor Robinson, a friend of Franklin's since high school.

For everyone to be smiling only seemed fitting because if there was one thing that everyone will remember about Tony, Taylor Robinson said, "he always had a smile on his face."

"All he did was love everybody," chimed Hunter Robinson.

Tony may have died at 21, but his legacy is living on.

At this time, police arrested a juvenile in connection with the shooting, and they say more arrests are possible in the case.


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