Love and support continue to pour in for the family of 19-year-old Tristan Reece of Halifax.
The young man – a beloved athlete and youth leader – was shot and killed on Friday in the area of Joseph Howe and Scot Street. Yet in the aftermath, the violence behind his death has inspired calls for peace from within his community.
His mother, Dale Russell, has publicly forgiven the perpetrator or perpetrators of her son’s murder, and called on his friends not to retaliate.
In a Facebook comment on July 28, she challenged those who knew and loved him, “as Triston would to embrace his determination to reach for that dream or goal that will make him smile from heaven.”
“We will not allow the way Triston was ripped from this life to define him. Let the way he lived and loved the game of football, Jesus and his family and friends define him.”
Reece was a dedicated athlete, a graduate of Citadel High School and a new recruit to the Saint Mary’s University football team. Quentrel Provo, founder of Stop the Violence, Spread the Love, knew him as an acquaintance at community events.
“A very well spoken young man, wise beyond his years and I’ve heard nothing, but great things about him, especially when it comes to football,” he told Global News on Monday. “When you hear great things about a young man, and for them to lose their life the way they did, it’s sad.”
Reece’s death marked the first homicide in Halifax of 2019. There were seven deaths in the city last year, eight in 2017 and 12 in 2016. Provo said some may be tempted to view that as progress, but he reminded the public that one is too many.
“We don’t want to see retaliation, we don’t want to see the cycle continue where someone goes and gets this person, and another family is hurting,” he explained.
To anyone considering committing an act of violence, Provo encouraged them to reach out to someone they trust for support. Once the trigger is pulled, he said, there is no going back.
“Things can flip in a second and, you know, there’s a life lost and you regret it and then you gotta deal with that for the rest of your life, it’s blood on your hands,” he said. “Reach out to someone that’s close to you, could be a friend, could be a father, uncle, mother.”
“That’s going to be the voice that tells you no, this is not the right decision, you have to do something different, you have to find a different way,” he added.
Provo also encouraged members of the public not to be bystanders if they suspect someone they know could commit an act of violence, but to lean in and let them know there’s a better way.
“You’re saving their life from either prison or ending up six feet under, and we don’t want anyone to end up in either place. So while you have a chance now, just choose differently.”
Halifax Regional Police are still searching for one or more suspects in Reece’s death. Anyone with information on what happened is asked to contact the force at (902) 490-5020 or call Crimestoppers anonymously at 1 (800)222-8477.
Global News could not reach to anyone of Reece’s family members to comment on this story.
Editor’s Note: A correction was made to this article at 9:08 a.m. The original article incorrectly identified another photo of a football player, sourced from Triston Reece’s Facebook page, as Triston Reece. Global News sincerely regrets the error.