A 2016 North Hardin High School graduate was shot and killed at a weekend house party in El Paso, Texas, according to media reports.

Spc. DeAngelo Monteza Meriweather, who served as an information technology specialist, had been stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, since 2018, according to WREG News Channel 3 in Memphis, Tennessee. El Paso police said he and four other people were shot early Saturday morning, but Meriweather didn’t survive.

Those who knew Meriweather locally in Hardin County said they were saddened by the news.

“When the news was shared with me, my heart sank a bit,” said North Har­din High School guidance counselor Teri Dandy in an email. “I remember De­An­gelo best by his smile that could light up a room. I remember him walking into my office and telling me his plans for the fut­ure and how excited he was to take the leap of faith into the military.

“He has overcome a lot, but I never doubted his grit and determination. He wanted to prove to himself he could do it and he did just that. DeAngelo will be missed, but I have no doubt in his short time on this earth, he impacted many. My heart goes out to his family and I pray they have comfort and peace during this tough time.”

During his career in the U.S. Army, Meri­weather earned several medals and was deployed to South Korea before being sent to Fort Bliss, according to WREG News.

“DeAngelo was a great kid,’’ said NHHS English teacher Autumn Jones. “In class, he wrote about how he planned to be in the military and how he wanted to make his mother proud — those were his two goals. DeAngelo’s energy and contagious smile would light up the room. I’m not sure if there is a person he couldn’t make laugh. He was hilarious in class — always telling some joke or some animated story. Without DeAngelo in the world, I believe there will be less laughter.’’

Joseph Anthony Rocha, 17, is suspected of shooting and killing Meriweather, according to KTSM 9 News in El Paso, Texas. He was booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility on a murder charge. His bond has been set at $1 million.

“If there was any way under the sun that I could get the harshest death brought to him, I would ask for it,” Meriweather’s father, Donald Meriweather, said to WREG News.

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