Candlelight Vigil held for slain teen

By Wesley Martin

Last Wednesday evening at 1901 North “T” street, family and friends, former classmates and teammates of Matthew “Matt Matt” Cox Jr., attended a prayer vigil in his remembrance. Cox was a 19-year-old Pensacola resident who was shot outside his family’s Montclair residence on July 28. Described as a wonderful athlete and congenial person, many at the vigil sang his praises.

“He ain’t never did nothing to nobody, he always stayed to himself,” said Jarvis Hamilton, a friend of Cox. “I was on my way to get him when I got off of work just to get him out of the neighborhood because he was so used to being at home all of the time. I didn’t make it in time.”

Hamilton says that though he doesn’t believe Cox’s death was drug-related, it doesn’t matter.

“The point is my dawg is gone,” Hamilton said with sadness.

According to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office investigators, the suspect is a black male in his early 20s with dreadlocked hair.
Last Wednesday night, with over 100 candles lit, Matt Matt’s parents thanked attendees and urged those in the community to stop the violence.

“This is not a script,” said Cox Sr. “This is not a play. This is not a DVD that you can rewind. This is real. We gotta stop doing what we’re doing on the streets.”

Hugh King, former City of Pensacola councilman and candidate for Escambia County Commissioner (District 3), says community members need to start showing each other love.

“It’s sad we have this division among us,” King said speaking on the current increase in violence. “Young people have more opportunity now then we’ve ever had before, but without love for each other, faith in God and even faith in one another, all of what we have, all of the hope for the future is being destroyed.”

“One time our faith brought through what other folks were doing to us,” King said. “Certainly, our faith can bring us through what we’re doing to ourselves.”

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