On Oct. 17, Olympic sprinter Tyson Gay returned to the field where he first made his mark on the athletic world but for a reason that his family, friends, and fans could have never imagined: a vigil held in memory of his child. Gay’s fifteen year-old daughter Trinity was shot and murdered in the midst of a shooting in their hometown of Lexington, KY on Oct. 16. Three suspects have been taken into custody so far. The news has hit the public hard, but no one is taking it harder than her family. “She didn’t make it. I’m so confused. She was just here last week for fall break. It’s so crazy,” Gay, who was very close with his daughter, told WLEX-18. “I have no idea what happened.”
The famous sprinter’s only child was outside of her local Cook Out with a few friends when men in two cars began shooting at each other. Trinity was hit in the neck and frantically rushed to the hospital by her friends who recalled the traumatic event to officials. “We were all just listening to music, talking, when we heard gunshots,” said Morgan Gaines, a friend of Trinity’s. The teens had all been out for a night of easygoing socialization but received tragedy instead.
The loss of Trinity is one that will be felt widely by the public, her community in particular. She had been following in her father’s footsteps, sprinting on the very same track that he began his successful career on at Lafayette High School. In addition to her bright athletic future, she was also widely liked among her peers. “Trinity was a great friend, she always kept smiling. She was just a good person. If anyone needed anything, they could call Trinity,” seventeen year-old Princess Stewart reflects. “She was there for everybody.” Nearly two thousand people showed up for the candlelight vigil held for the rising athlete at her high school. Her father used the opportunity to speak out against gun violence, reminding the large audience that Trinity would have wanted peace. Students left running shoes and flowers around the track in memory of the teen, and thousands of pink and purple balloons were released into the sky at the end of the vigil, uniting the community in a time of fear and tragedy.