I watched the hospital video of Tony Turnage being dumped out of car. I wish I hadn't. I'm glad WITN chose not to air the video. It's an image that burned through me. So many thoughts. How could his life be worth no more than that? How could he just be left there? How could a good kid end up like this? Yes.... he was a good kid despite the bad deed he did.
I only knew Tony through the camera lens on a Friday night during football season and in passing on the sideline from time to time. From what I remember, he was polite, never an attention hound out for self promotion. I know that doesn't make me an expert on whether he was a good kid or not, but his educators, his coaches are experts.
They say they can't understand why he would be involved in an armed robbery. Head coach Todd Lipe was devastated when he found out.
"It doesn't make any sense, " he said "Tony was a good kid. It was always 'yes sir, no sir' with him. He never caused any trouble."
No question, Tony and the other students shouldn't have done what they did. He, like the others will be, should have been brought to justice. But not every kid who commits a crime is a "gang-banging street thug who deserves no mercy" as one poster exclaimed. Tony made a horrible mistake in judgment, but he still deserves to be remembered. His family and friends deserve the community's compassion and sympathy.
Tony should have made the headlines for scoring touchdowns, not for being killed. Sometimes good kids do bad things, this bad thing cost a good kid his life.