As Washington County High School seniors graduate Saturday, an empty chair will be reserved for Jaquel Robinson.
The 19-year-old honor student was killed when bullets flew April 4 as others fought at an “after prom party” at Club Illusions in a secluded sector on the east side of Dublin.
“It’s a tragedy that a milestone in a child’s life turns tragic like this and the people (responsible) need to be found out,” Dublin Police Chief Wayne Cain said Wednesday.
No arrests have been made.
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Although a $2,000 reward for information was offered about three weeks after the shootout, only bits and pieces of information have come in since.
“Nothing of great value,” Cain said.
Dublin police and GBI investigators are tracking leads after identifying witnesses in the crowd of well over 100 people who were at the club when the shooting started.
“At least four different weapons were used,” Cain said. “We think we have recovered some of those weapons.”
Investigators have seized about a dozen guns through search warrants and voluntary submissions. The weapons are undergoing ballistics testing at the GBI crime lab.
Besides Robinson’s fatal wound, 19-year-old Anteria Williams of Wrightsville was shot and survived.
No one stepped forward with information voluntarily in the days after the violent fight that wounded the two innocent bystanders.
Cain said people should be more concerned with finding the killer of the aspiring rapper than being labeled a snitch. Identities can be protected, he said.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Dublin Police Department at 478-277-5023 or call anonymous tips to Crimestoppers at 478-275-0803 or 877-84-CRIME.
“Those people that we have not talked to, but do know something, we would appreciate talking to them,” Cain said. “We will respect their privacy. We simply want closure for this family.”
Jacquelyn Robinson wants to meet her son’s killer.
“I want to talk to him, face to face, and find out why he killed my baby,” Robinson said.
Someone at the club that night must know something.
“I just want them to come forward and tell the truth, tell what they saw and everything,” she said
Jaquel was her middle son, who enjoyed playing basketball and football.
He had already passed a recruiting test for the Army and was planning to enlist in the months after his graduation, his mother said.
She was worried about his safety, but he did not expect to see combat, he assured her.
Jacqueline Robinson also was concerned the night he was headed to Dublin to take his girlfriend to the party.
“I’ll be all right,” he told her.
“You better be all right,” she answered.
The next time she saw him was at the Medical Center, Navicent Health, where Jaquel was pronounced dead from a bullet wound to the head.
Her mind is haunted by that image.
She longs for another family movie night where she and the kids would order pizza and wings.
“He was outgoing, being the class clown,” Robinson said. “He was a sweetheart. Yes, he was.”
Robinson said she might have to move to chase away the pain that lingers from memories of happier times.
She wishes she could avoid Saturday’s ceremony, but she wants to be there to accept her son’s diploma.
“I don’t know how I’m going to get through it,” she said. “I know I’m going to cry.”
To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.