The New Iberia Senior High School student body and family of Garon Lewis came together Wednesday night to say their final goodbyes to the NISH student and member of the Yellow Jackets football team who was murdered earlier this month.
According to NIPD Chief of Police Todd D’Albor, dispatchers were called around 9:30 p.m. Aug. 16 to a report of gunfire near Rene and Audrey streets. When police arrived,Lewis was found shot in a car at that location.
More than 100 were in attendance at the NISH gymnasium Wednesday. The ceremony was organized by students who wanted to honor Lewis, and was attended by representatives of other schools, local officials and Lewis’ family.
The front of the stage was decorated with pictures and memorabilia from his life. Lewis was just beginning his senior year of school and was by all accounts excited for the months to come.
Lewis’ father, Iberia Parish School Board member Raymond “Shoe-Do” Lewis, spoke for the family during the event, giving a speech whose topics ranged from girls on social media to the increase in violence in young people today.
Lewis also sang a rendition of “We Shall Overcome” during his speech and talked at length about his love for his son.
“He was clever, he was canailles, he was smart, he was loving and if you needed help, he was always willing to do that,” Lewis said. “That’s just how he was raised. He was so happy the first day of school.”
The Iberia Parish School Board member and former city councilman questioned the excessive violence in today’s generation, calling the murder of his son senseless.
“What is wrong with this generation’s edge?” Lewis asked. “I’m not advocating any type of violence, but you can have a busted lip, a black eye, versus shooting people. This was senseless.
“I don’t want to say too much because the NIPD is doing a good job and we’ll have answers pretty soon,” he added. “No retaliation. Garon wouldn’t want retaliation and I’m telling you, me and my family don’t want retaliation. We believe in the law and justice is going to prevail.”
The ceremony also included NISH students giving their condolences to Lewis’ family and remembering the 17-year-old as they knew him.
“When I say G was like a little brother to me, he really was,” NISH student Carlos Harris said. “Just a few days before his incident he gave me a call telling me how lit his senior year was about to be. He was really pumped up about the (football) jamboree that was approaching.”
Students representing Catholic High School and Hanson Memorial High School also were at the ceremony to give cards of condolences to the family.
Prayer, songs and other speeches were made by members of the student body and faculty, including NISH principal Curt Landry.
“It’s a very tragic moment, we’re going to get through this one day at a time,” Landry said.