Family and friends mourn loss of 10-year-old Landon Hayes with vigil

Landon's grandmother says he was loved by the community...and that was on display Monday.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – 10-year-old Landon Hayes was loved deeply.

“The only thing I could do was just scream and then I just ask them to let me hold him, I just wanted to hold him for the last time, I just wanted to hold him” said Landon’s grandmother, Veda Brown.

Corral Street in Lexington Monday night was packed with friends and family of Hayes, who was shot and killed Sunday afternoon in what police say was a murder-suicide.


The huge crowds gathered to honor and remember him with a vigil and balloon release.

“He was a good little guy and everybody liked him.  He was a likable child, I mean, whatever was on his mind he was going to tell you what was on his mind, that’s just how he was” said Brown.

Brown says her daughter, Landon’s mother, told her she was cooking breakfast and listening to spiritual music when she heard a pop….she found Landon lying in bed, shot.

Friends tell ABC 36 News that 22-year-old Tyrus Lathem, who is suspected of killing Hayes and then himself, is the boyfriend of Hayes’s mother.

Police have not confirmed the relationship between the two, as an investigation continues.

But on Monday night, the focus wasn’t on how Landon died, but how he lived, sharing stories of him.

“In the summer I always came down and he said Aunt Arnetta can you take me over to Woodland to the pool, I need some spending change for some snacks and I said sure Landon, how are you going to get back? And he said I’m going to call you and I said, oh really? I love Landon.  I miss Landon” said Landon’s Great Aunt, Arnetta Schooler.

“He had fire, he was 10 going on 30, he was loved, that’s my tink, I miss tink, and my heart is heavy but I know he’s at peace now” said Landon’s Aunt, Fannie Silverburg.

Landon’s grandmother says he was loved by the community…and that was on display Monday.

She says what she will miss the most is his smile coming downstairs in the morning.

“Him coming and saying granny, give me a hug, give me a hug granny give me a hug, and that’s what I’m going to miss” said Brown.

His sister says the family hasn’t had any rest since this tragedy happened, their baby boy taken far too soon.

Quentin Roberts…a friend of the family and Hayes’ football coach says the 10-year-old was rambunctious, smart, had the biggest heart and was a good kid.

“Landon was one of those kids he was special, he had the type of personality to where you could spend two minutes with Landon and then you’ll remember landon for the rest of your life” said Roberts.

Coach Roberts says Hayes loved football. He played every position as hard as he could without fear. That he was confident, strong and someone everyone in the community knew.
When he found out what happened to Hayes…Roberts broke down.

“I was in disbelief I was in shock and I cried the whole day. This shouldn’t happen to this kid something like this is not normal and shouldn’t happen” said Roberts.

He says Hayes’s teammates, friends, and family are taking this loss very hard..
And because it was ruled a murder-suicide, Roberts says unfortunately, there can be no justice for Hayes.
But he says spreading awareness and teaching more people about domestic violence and gun violence is something they can do moving forward.

“He was that kid that just had the biggest heart, he was tough, he was brave, everybody’s going to remember Landon” added Roberts.

Hayes was a fifth grader at Ashland Elementary School in Lexington.

In a letter to parents Sunday Ashland Elementary School Principal John Moore said Hayes had a beautiful smile and contagious laugh, that he has been a member of the Ashland family since he started kindergarten. He loved playing football, his family and being around his peers and teachers.
Moore says Hayes will be deeply missed by his teachers and classmates.

Grief counselors are available for students grieving the loss.

Hayes’ family is accepting donations to help with funeral expenses…they can be made to the O. L. Hughes & Sons Mortuary.

The family says funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized.

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