Thousands of people joined Olympic sprinter Tyson Gay at a candlelight vigil Monday night on a Kentucky high school track honoring his 15-year-old daughter, who was fatally shot over the weekend.
Gay stood on the track at Lexington’s Lafayette High School where he and daughter Trinity excelled and he thanked people for showing support after the girl’s death early Sunday after gunfire erupted outside a restaurant in that city. The teen’s mother, Shoshana Boyd, also was present amid the crowd honoring her memory.
“I want you guys to love each other, have peace and protect each other,” said Gay, who added that he was numb from crying over her death. “That’s what Trinity would have wanted. … Life is not a joke.”
Many in the crowd wore pink and purple — Gay’s favorite colors — with some holding balloons of those same hues that were later released into the air. Several pairs of track spikes hung from a fence along with a baton that said “In Memory of Trinity.”
Three men charged in connection with the shooting pleaded not guilty Monday and face an Oct. 25 court date. The three appeared via video before Fayette County, Kentucky, District Court Judge T. Bruce Bell.
Bell set bail at $5,000 each for Chazerae Taylor, 38, and his son, D’Markeo Taylor, 19, on wanton endangerment charges. Dvonta Middlebrooks, 21, is charged with wanton endangerment and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His bail was set at $12,500.
Bell will assign attorneys for two of them. The younger Taylor already has a lawyer.
Lexington police say Middlebrooks was in the parking lot of the Cook Out restaurant early Sunday and fired multiple shots in the incident in which Trinity Gay was shot. Court records said the Taylors acknowledged firing shots.
Police spokeswoman Brenna Angel said police don’t believe Trinity Gay was in either of two vehicles involved.
Gay told The Associated Press on Monday evening that in talking with police, he believed his daughter was an innocent bystander. But he said authorities didn’t reveal details of their investigation.