Mother walks in graduation for murdered son

Mother walks in graduation for murdered son 1
Posted at 1:39 PM, Jun 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-05 13:39:00-04

JASPER CO., SC (WTOC) - Friday was a monumental night for students and an emotional one for parents in Jasper County. Hundreds walked across the stage at Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School as new graduates. It was a little different for one mother.

Angel Simmons walked in the graduation. That’s because her son, Monte, was shot and killed in November of 2015. She walked on what would have been his night to graduate.

 Hundreds of proud families packed the football stadium in Ridgeland – watching as their student celebrated the end of grade school. For many – it marks the beginning of a new chapter in their lives. For Simmons – it had a far deeper meaning.

"He was a good kid. My son died... senseless murder. He was a good kid,” said Simmons.

Simmons decided to walk in Monte’s honor. His friends told her it was just the right thing to do.

"He was only 18 years old. He didn't have a chance to go to prom. I wanted to do this because I'm bringing his spirit to his classmates. By me being here, I think he's here,” said Simmons.

Another teen is charged with killing Simmons days after his 18th birthday almost two years ago. His mother was one of the first on scene. There was nothing she could do to save him. 

“He was my heart. a piece of my heart is gone. I can feel it. It's heartbreaking. It's sad. It's terrible,” said Simmons.

The walk and ceremony is no doubt tough for Angel. At the same time, she knows it's making her son proud. 

“I'm here to let everyone know that my son still lives, and he lives through all of them. He's still here. He will appreciate this. I know he's smiling over everybody. I can just imagine his big smile right now.”

So, on a night meant for celebration – that’s what Angel Simmons is doing. She’s celebrating the life of her son and remembering the indelible impact he made on her life.

Angel thanked the district, administrators, and classmates for thinking of her and allowing her to walk in the ceremony. The 15-year old charged in the shooting is still awaiting trial. 

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