Family and friends of Lamar Hawkins III gathered to honor the life of the 14-year-old who apparently committed suicide in his school’s bathroom on September 10 after facing down bullies for months, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
“And so I say I love you,” said his mother Shaniqua Hawkins. “See you later. Good night, but never goodbye.
“You survive through us,” she continued. “I always told you how strong you are and that together we could conquer the world. … You are my hero, my light, my angel, my blessing, my beloved son.”
Hawkins attended Greenwood Lakes Middle School in Lake Mary, Florida.
The teen’s father, Lamar Hawkins Sr., who comforted his wife when emotions overwhelmed her, said that he knows he’ll see his son again one day:
“I wish we had a do-over,” his father said. “But you know at the end of the day, we don’t need a do-over, because we’re going to be together in heaven.”
Read more from the Sentinel:
Lamar was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2000, the third child of high-school sweethearts who married at 18.
His twin sister, La’deja, was born just before him, screaming and crying, their father said. But Lamar came out calm and wide-eyed, looked at his father as if to acknowledge him and fell asleep, Lamar Hawkins Sr. said at the memorial, drawing laughs.
Lamar faced medical issues at birth, and doctors told his parents he had a 20 percent chance of surviving infancy, his father said.
“He fought through everything — everything — and he made it,” his father said.
Lamar grew into a charismatic “ladies’ man,” said his older brother, Lamar Hawkins II, imitating the way he would go up to girls and say, “Hey, how you doin’?”
Because of his medical issues at birth, Lamar was small in stature, which his mother said last week made him an easier target for bullies.
The family had recently moved to Sanford, Florida from New York to raise their children in a safer environment.
On September 10, the day of the shooting, Shaniqua Hawkins went to pick up her son from the school at approximately 5:00 p.m. but he was no where to be found. He was reported missing two hours later and after deputies searched nearby neighborhoods, he was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a bathroom stall inside of the school.
Watch original report below:
Seminole County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kristen Bentsen said they are continuing to investigate Hawkins’ apparent suicide, but there are no new details.
Deputies said that Lamar used his father’s gun, which, according to family attorney Matt Morgan, was “stored in full compliance with Florida law.”
If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)