FAIRMONT, W.Va. — The life of WVU freshman Devante’ Waites was celebrated Friday at the Woody Williams National Guard Armory in Fairmont. The 19-year-old died last week after being stabbed at a Morgantown bar.
“Everyone in the community is pulling together and we’re drawing strength from one another,” Fairmont-based Christian Love Ministries Pastor Lonnie Leo Riley said. “So together we are going to get through this.”
Pastor Riley delivered the eulogy.
“Devante’ was a quiet kind of kid but everywhere he went he left a trail of friends behind him. He left a trail of people that respected and loved him because of his very nature, his kindness, his thoughtfulness. He was a very good kid,” Pastor Riley said.
Morgantown police have arrested Robert Hernandez, 33, of Cumberland, Md., and charged him with Waites’ death. He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing Monday in Monongalia County Magistrate Court.
Pastor Riley said there’s much to be learned from the tragedy.
“Take full advantage of every opportunity that we have; to be kind when we can be kind; to be respectful when we can be respectful and to live our life to the very fullest because we have no idea when it will end,” he said.
A number of WVU students were at the service. Waites was a third semester freshman. He starred in basketball at Fairmont Senior High.
“Every parent would desire to have a child like Devante’, gentle, kind and caring, a very wonderful young man,” Pastor Riley said. “What gets us through is the fact that he knew his Lord and Savior. We are not looking at the tragedy from that perspective but we are looking at the fact that he knew the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior.”