Hillcrest High School students honor fellow classmate

Local News

SIMPSONVILLE, SC. (WSPA) – Hillcrest High School honored one of their own during Friday night’s football game. Many students, parents and friends wore blue and black in honor of Elijah Smith, or as friends called him, EJ.

Smith was shot in the parking lot of Tipsy Taco. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died. His classmates say he will forever be missed.

“Tonight, is about him and it’s also senior night, so we want to represent him,” said classmate, April Elston.

His classmates said he was always putting others before himself.

“He didn’t deserve it, like at all. Elijah would be the last person, he didn’t have any problems with anybody,” said classmate, Chase Carter.

EJ is described as kind, amazing and always wearing a smile. His fellow classmates say in his absence, they’re left hurting.

“As a senior class, we all feel, because if one of our fellow students in our class are hurting, we’re also hurting as well. They’re a part of us, just like EJ was a part of us, as well,” said Elston.
“It’s been, it’s been tough, like real tough. It’s probably one of the hardest things a lot of us had to go through,” said Carter.

Chase Carter said he played basketball with EJ since 7th grade.

“He was like a brother to me, like when he passed away it hit me really hard. It hit me pretty bad,” he said.

Carter said they’ve been honoring Smith all week by doing candle and prayer vigils. At Friday night’s game, they dressed in t-shirts honoring him and wore his favorite color, blue.

Even though he’s gone, they say his memory will live on.

“You will forever be loved Elijah Smith,” said Elston.

Students said on Saturday, there will be a balloon release in Smith’s honor. They will also be placing flowers and letters in his parking space.

Sagin Willasch was charged for Smith’s murder this past Monday. He is being held in Greenville County without bond.

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