Shooting victim remembered by family, friends

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2007

What was organized as a candlelight vigil Wednesday Damon Pringle turned out to be a lot more.

It was a family reunion. It was a prayer service. It was a celebration.

As the sun set on the Ninth Street Park, more than 100 family members, friends and neighbors of all ages, races and backgrounds gathered with candles lit to remember Pringle, who was gunned down Monday during an apparent altercation at a house in the 800 block of 10th Street in Ironton. Isaiah Suddereth, 25, of Columbus, is charged with his murder.

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J.D. Crockrel, Pringle’s cousin, spoke to the group that gathered, saying it was a blessing to have such a large crowd to honor Pringle.

“We didn’t have to force anybody to be here, they came because they wanted to. It’s great to see the people in the community willing to come together and magnify the Lord and pay their respects,” Crockrel said.

He said Pringle was a friendly person who always made time for his loved ones.

Tevin Brown said Pringle’s life was “taken away at the wrong time.”

“We are all family around here, so it’s very hard,” Brown said. “It’s such a sad thing for all of us.”

Those who knew Pringle admitted that he had brushes with the law and had served time in jail for the mistakes he made. But, the married father of three daughters was trying to get his life back on track, according to family members.

“I hope that everybody learns lessons from this,” said Nikki Meeks, another cousin of Pringle, who spoke at length during the vigil. “Everybody’s struggling but you have to find God in your life if you’re going to make it.”

Meaka Hord urged a stop to the black-on-black violence and drug use that she said is plaguing the community and the nation. She encouraged young mothers and fathers to take care of their children and work their hardest to instill moral values in them.

“We as a people gotta stop this. We need to raise our kids and put a stop to all this violence and hatred. … People are dying and what over? Words? Drugs?” she said.

Michelle Dean said Pringle would definitely be missed. Dean’s daughter, Lily Hord, is Pringle’s niece.

“He touched a lot of people’s lives,” Dean said. “He always showed people that he cared about them. … He would do anything for you.”