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Hundreds Gather to Celebrate Life of 19-Year-Old Stabbing Victim
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on August 22, 2014 @ 6:19PM
Created on August 22, 2014 @ 5:54PM


On Friday, roughly 500 people gathered at the Armory in Fairmont to celebrate the life of a 19-year-old whose life came to a tragic end.


Devante Waites was stabbed to death last Thursday at a popular 18+ night club in downtown Morgantown. At Friday's service there was a standing ovation and round of applause in memory of the young man who many say had a heart of gold.


David Retton was Devante's basketball coach at Fairmont Senior High School. He said, "He was one of a kind kid. I will greatly miss him." 


Devante was going into his sophomore year at West Virginia University. He was a 2013 FSHS graduate and a basketball standout. In addition, Devante's Pastor claims he led by example in his church and the community.  


"He left behind a trail of people who respected and loved him because of his very nature,"  said Pastor Lonnie Leo Riley.


"He's the kind of kid who didn't beat his chest about what he did, he just went out and did it," said Retton.  


Tears fell constantly and praises were sang even by Devante's mother at the celebration of life service. For now the focus isn't on how he was stabbed to death, but rather the positive legacy he's left behind.  


"He had a twinkle in his eye, there was an excitement about life," said Retton.  


The untimely death has been devastating for Devante's closest friends and family. Friday's service indicates they can take pride in the fact that he was loved by many.  


"My heart goes out to his family, but he was a lovely, lovely kid," said Riley


Through all the pain and suffering people are feeling, one thing is clear. The memory of a young man who blended in because of his humility, yet shined brightly because of his actions, will never be forgotten.  


"He stood out because of his actions and how he carried himself, by his character, by his integrity," said Retton. 


Robert Hernandez, 33, from Cumberland, Maryland, was arrested on the same day of the stabbing. He's been charged with first degree murder in connection to the slaying.


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