The community came together Saturday to honor Dwane Simmons — a son, brother, friend and loved one gone too soon.
“People who knew Dwane knew him of his smile, knew of his outgoing personality," said his father Navarro Simmons.
Dwane Simmons, a star football player at Washburn University, was shot and killed in April 2019 after walking home from a party with friends in Topeka, an ordeal his family has to constantly relive.
“You don’t ever forget about it, there’s not a day that goes by that you don’t think about it," Navarro Simmons said. "Some days it’s easier than others, but it’s still hard."
Two years later, continuously grieving the loss of his son, Navarro Simmons says Dwane had his entire life ahead of him.
“Relationship with his brothers, relationships with his loved ones, people that he could’ve helped mentor and things like that. All of that was taken away from us," Navarro Simmons said. "Like when he falls in love, when he gets that new job, that career, when he moves into his first place — I mean all those things, you name it."
Missed future experiences include the chance to finish college with friends like Ali LongStreet who says life has not been the same without him.
“Joking with him, that was one of our big things that we loved to do together, you know, just get together and laugh, and so it hurt,” LongStreet said. “Probably our biggest thing was dancing, he was always dancing and stuff like that. We say he would’ve taken over TikTok.”
However, Dwane Simmons' family and friends continue to press forward. The support from the community gives them hope as they prepare for the trial of the man who took Dwane's life.
“We’re just hoping for a lot of love from the community, a lot of love for the family, a lot of prayer for us because we know that we are going to have to relive everything, the night that we heard the news," Navarro Simmons said. "As hard as it is going to be to face the person that took our son's life and to go through that, you know we have to be strong for one another.”
Those who gathered to honor Dwane Simmons are patiently waiting, simply praying for justice and peace.
“We thank you in advance for justice being served, in Jesus name we pray, Amen,” said Pastor Darron Edwards, lead pastor of United Believers Community Church.
Saturday the Simmons family and friends were notified during the festivities that the trial has been delayed yet again.
The trial has been pushed back from Nov. 23, 2021, to March 14, 2022. The family tells KSHB 41 News they are frustrated and disappointed by the news.