Mother of Slain Grant HS Athlete: ‘Celebrate His Life, Don’t Mourn His Life’

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SACRAMENTO --

"I'm empty. I'm shallow. I'm lost," a tearful Nicole Clavo said to the crowd that gathered.

She is the mother of J.J. Clavo, and she was struggling in front of that crowd of mourners to describe the indescribable: the pain of losing a child.

They gathered, prayed, and lit candles tonight outside the football field at Grant Union High School. It’s the field where J.J. spent so much of his time. That’s where he was headed Friday evening when bullets from an unknown gunman ripped through his car and ended his life.

"Celebrate his life. Don't mourn his life. He wasn't a sad kid. He was a happy kid. He was the life of the party, the clown of the class. Stay upbeat. I'm trying to stay upbeat," Nicole Clavo said.

Police are looking for any information they can get that might lead them to J.J.'s killer. Even as the vigil was taking place, they were interviewing a second Grant High Student who was shot in the car — Malik Johnson.

Meanwhile, there were calls in Del Paso Heights tonight to for anyone to come forward and take a stand against violence.

"I don't fault the community. I fault the perpetrators. I don't fault this neighborhood. This neighborhood is full of love. This neighborhood is full of strength. They're out here in mass; a lot of these people don't even know my son," Clavo said.

Another man who didn't know JJ has pledged to pay for the services to bury him. He asked that he remain anonymous.

"But when somebody pours their heart out and they reach out and they do something like this... and I know I'm going to get in trouble for this... but I don't care. I think we have to know who that person is. And in this case it's Demarcus Cousins. Demarcus Cousins,” said Rick Jennings II, a Sacramento City Councilman.