MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Family members want to make sure 17-year-old Jacob Manuel didn't die in vain. The Douglass High School three-sport star was murdered in July 2011; police never found his killer.
Jacob's family and friends get emotional when they think of the young man who had such a bright future. They've decided to use his memory to provide a future to others.
"Jacob would have been the last person we thought would have been gunned down like that."
Charlene Harmon fights back tears as she talks about her nephew.
"He wasn't in gangs, he didn't do drugs. He was basically a good young man," she said. "He had every reason to be caught up in something bad and he didn't."
In July 2011, Manuel was shot and killed on Ash Street in north Memphis. The scholar-athlete had just graduated from Douglass High School. He was days away from leaving for college when gunshots ended his life.
Harmon fondly remembers her nephew and his bright personality.
"Jacob was a good child. You can't find anybody in Memphis that can say something bad about him. We think about that smile, the jokes and how silly he acted. It brings tears and it hurts. Just like the night I got the call. It still hurts."
In honor of Jacob, his family is creating a scholarship in his name at Douglass High School.
Harmon said, "We want one to go to academics and one to go to athletics so his name will never be forgotten and his death will stand for something. They robbed an innocent young man of his life for no reason."
Harmon says they also have plans to start a non-profit organization called Jacob's House to help at risk kids in the neighborhood.