SHERIDAN, Ark. - A sign meant to attract customers is now reminding everyone of what Sheridan lost.
"We all came together," says Sheridan High School junior Patrick Hall.
The Sonic marquee now reads: "RIP Austin Moody. We Love You."
"It's a small town. We're all pretty close," says Sheridan High School senior Caleb Clay.
Sheridan High School junior and football player Austin Moody, 17, was found shot Thursday morning while leaving his home on Highway 35 North just outside Sheridan.
"Austin was such a strong person. Everybody loved Austin, nobody disliked Austin," says Hall.
Grant County deputies released a statement Saturday calling the teen's death a homicide.
"This is an ongoing, active investigation and we ask if anyone that has any information about the case contact the Grant County Sheriff’s Department," says Sheriff Ray Vance.
Moody worked at the town's Sonic with Hall and Clay.
"He was a hard worker. Where others wouldn't put work in, he put work in," says Hall.
Hall has been friends with Moody since the fifth grade. He says he convinced Moody to play football and was funny off and on the field.
"We are on the field and he wasn't supposed to be on the field and coach called him off and he ran really fast and he was laughing the whole entire way," says Hall.
Clay says Moody was a shining light on his dark days.
"Everyone would circle around him and have good times with him," says Clay. "He was just a really good guy. [I'd] come in be having a bad day [and] he'd lighten the mood."
Hall says Sheridan will stay strong even after Moody's shooter is found.
"That's how he would've wanted it," says Hall.
On Thursday, the Sheridan School District released a statement:
The Sheridan School District was saddened to learn today of the death of one of its high school students. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends, and the entire community at this very difficult time. Upon learning of this tragedy, the district responded immediately, mobilizing trained crisis counselors and mental health professionals. Counselors and mental health professionals will be available to meet with students, faculty and staff beginning today and continuing over the next few weeks as needed. They will provide grief counseling and other resources as needed.
The Sheridan School District wants to respect the privacy of the family and is limiting its comments. Right now, the district is focusing on providing support to this family as well as the entire school community.
Funeral services for Moody will be held Wednesday, January 25 at 2 p.m. at First Landmark Baptist Church in Sheridan.
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