CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The senior class of Ginn Academy graduated Sunday night and remembered their classmate who was killed days before the ceremony.
Diamond Russell was shot and killed on Wednesday May 18 at an East Cleveland gas station on the corner of Superior and Euclid Avenue.
Demann Wilson showed off his diploma with pride but he said the happy day was shadowed with grief.
"It feels good I just wish 19 was there, too," Wilson said.
Russell was No. 19 on the football field. He was a standout athlete for Glenville High school and the nephew of Coach Tedd Ginn, but off the field he was Wilson's best friend at Ginn Academy.
"We always were together, just wish I was with him and had him in the house that night," said Wilson.
Russell was set to play football at Garden City Community college in Kansas this fall where he planned to major in Business.
Ginn Academy graduate Rashee Reed said he grew up with Russell.
"Diamond was very vibrant. He was a very energetic person and you wouldn't even see him coming but you would know because you could hear him. He did walk the stage even though he wasn't walking with us," said Reed.
During the graduation ceremony there was a special dedication for Russell.
"They gave his mom and his grandmother everything and a certificate. We did a moment of silence for him, and you know he's in everybody's prayers," said Wilson.
Now these graduates plan to live out their futures, always remembering their brother whose dreams we're cut short.
"Long live 19," said Wilson.
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