Hundreds of friends and family members gathered in Olney the evening of Nov. 19, trying to understand the loss of Olijawon Griffin, who was fatally stabbed in Washington, D.C.’s, Woodley Park Metro station two days before.
Mourners honored Griffin, 18, who graduated from Sherwood High School in May, with candles, balloons and homemade signs. They stood on a field near Prince Philip Drive and Spartan Road, where “Owon” played football with his friends, according to Fitz Mofor, 17, a current Sherwood student.
In court documents, police said Griffin went into an Adams Morgan alley to buy marijuana from a group of young men shortly after midnight Saturday; when he returned, he said the men had attacked and robbed him at gunpoint, taking his black Helly Hansen jacket and an iPhone. Metropolitan Police said Griffin, of Olney, was stabbed about 1:15 a.m. Nov. 17 in the Metro station by the same people who initially robbed him. He later died of his injuries at a local hospital.
Family members have pushed for some of the teens to be charged as adults.
At the vigil, the Rev. Barry Moultrie, the youth pastor at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Rockville, spoke to the crowd and then prayed.
“This silent majority has to end — you guys have to stand up for what’s right,” he told the crowd.
“You are the future of this country,” he said.
He prayed for the crowd, that they would have the strength not to join gangs, and “not to waste emotions on revenge.”
“That’s for Owon, right?” a young boy asked his mother, watching some of the mourners let their balloons fly into the air.
Some of the members of the crowd had T-shirts saying “RIP Owon” and “GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN.”
One girl made a poster littered with notes from Griffin’s friends. “I