Washington-Marion renames training room after former student who - FOX29 Lake Charles

Washington-Marion renames training room after former student who died in 2016 shooting

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It's exactly one year on Monday since the deaths of two Southern University students were killed in the crossfire of two shooters in Baton Rouge. 

LaShuntae Benton was one of the students killed. A Lake Charles native, Benton went to Washington-Marion High School and worked on  its athletic training staff. 

While the homicide case may have gone cold, many people gathered on Monday at the school's field house for a special ceremony dedicating the training room in Benton's honor.

"As a parent, it means a lot to me because you can't explain raising a child who impacted so many young students that's her age, that's her peers and normally, kids don't make an impact on their peers, so I'm a proud mother," said Theresa Tillman, Benton's mother. "LaShuntae was a beautiful child."

Both students and faculty say Benton was a joy to be around and this ceremony was well-deserved. 

"Everybody at Washington-Marion, we all knew LaShuntae; she always had the brightest spirit and the brightest smile," said Jarius Barker, a senior at Washington-Marion. "It was something she did to always make you feel good."

Benton and Annette January were innocent bystanders at a social gathering last year in Baton Rouge where two gunman opened fire. The suspects remain on the streets after a grand jury refused to indict either suspect due to inconsistent witness reports and the circumstances of the shooting. 

Tillman said she wants justice for her daughter and will never give up hope. 

"I'm not letting my child's name die. I'm fighting for it, and I know the more I draw light to it, the more darkness won't be able to take it. And when I say the darkness I mean the ones who did this," Tillman said. "So every time LaShuntae is on the media or the news, those people have to think about what they did; I want them to soul search themselves and realize what they took they robbed me of my child. A beautiful, young woman with everything to live for."

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