Fans, Family Gather for Candlelight Vigil - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/22/03

Fans, Family Gather for Candlelight Vigil

It was a relatively quiet night on the streets of Savannah, especially after the previous five nights, with four murders. Last night, nearly 100 fans, friends and family paid respects to one of the victims, Jason Johnson, the rapper known as Camoflauge. They held a candlelight vigil in front of Pure Pain Studios on Savannah's West 37th Street, some bringing flowers to add to a makeshift memorial. That is also the scene of the crime, where a gunman killed Johnson Monday afternoon.

WTOC was at the vigil  and talked with the people who knew him best: his family. A tribute to Johnson started with a verse from the bible, encouraging his family, friends and fans to stay strong in this trying time. Many people had a hard time holding back tears.

"I guess I just don't understand why they did this," said Cynthia Kennedy, the rapper's aunt.

Seeing the size of the crowd made his loved ones feel better, as they lit candles in his memory. Johnson's uncle sang "I Believe I Can Fly," and fans joined in to bring unity among the group. But for Johnson's mother Tammy, it was just too much. She's still overcome with grief from the death of her only child.

Emotions ran high, so in order to lighten things up, they decided to give everybody a first listen to what Camoflauge was working on at the time of his death.

"He just wanted a better life and was trying to do that," said Cynthia Kennedy. "They took him away from us before he got his goal accomplished."

Those who knew Johnson best and those who sang alongside him really thought that the album they were working on was going to be the one that made Camoflauge a household name. Now after his death, they're hoping Camoflauge's music will live on.

His family put out another plea to the community to stop the violence; they don't want anybody to retaliate for Johnson's murder.

Reported by: Holly Bristow, hbristow@wtoc.com

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