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Community honors Jeanerette teen with candlelight vigil

Junior firefighter Kendal Thompson was shot and killed last week
Posted at 10:02 PM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-25 15:29:08-05

JEANERETTE — Funeral services are now set for the Jeanerette teenager who was shot and killed last week.

Kendal Thompson's funeral will be held at the First Jerusalem Baptist Church in Jeanerette on Saturday at 11:00 AM. Kendal was a junior firefighter, and his death is having an impact on not just his friends and family, but many others in Iberia and St. Mary parishes.

Tonight a crowd gathered to honor the teen. Starting outside of Kendal's home, friends and family marched to a memorial where he was shot and killed. Leading the way was Mayor Carol Bourgeois.

"I'm there with them in times of trouble as well as the good times, so it was important for me to be here," Bourgeois said.

The mayor did not come alone. Jeanerette high school teachers, council members, and firefighters all grieving with the family.

"Our basketball team is grieving. We had a game Friday night. I don't know how, but we got through it," a coach said to the crowd.

"This is our community, this is our town, we need to let them the community know we are here with them" Bourgeois said.

The presence of many city officials did not go unnoticed by family members.

"They trying to do the same thing, stick together and love people," Kendal's great-aunt Shirley Richard said.

Richard is hopeful their presence during the vigil sends a message to the younger members of the march.

"Maybe they can open their eyes, get together and quit hating one another," Richard said.

The vigil ended with many saying 'I love you' as they released blue and silver balloons.

The fatal shooting happened Friday January 17, 2020, at around 6:00 p.m. near the corner of Martin Luther King Drive and Guiberteau Street. An altercation is believed to have led to the shooting.

Four people are in custody in connection with Kendal's death. Three of them are facing second-degree murder charges.