BACONTON, GA (WALB) - Classmates and faculty at Baconton Community Charter School are mourning the death of 13-year old Jackson O'Quinn. The 7th grader was killed over the weekend after being accidentally shot with a hunting rifle.
O'Quinn's family members said hunting was one of his favorite things to do. He had just gotten back from a hunting trip in Cuthbert when the accident happened Sunday afternoon.
Other students at his school had an amazing way to support him by wearing camouflage. It was the color of the uniforms for the Baconton Blazers in love and memory of 13-year old.
"It's an opportunity for them to express their love and their feelings towards him today," said Principal Lynn Pinson.
A classmate proposed the idea, and it took off. Students from pre-school to high school showing support.
"It's more than just a student. He's part of the family for so many folks here and his little brother goes to school here. Their family is just part of who we are so everybody in our school has been touched by him," said Pinson.
Friends and family remember the young teen as a leader, leading student groups both in and out of the classroom.
"We're going to miss him. It's going to be a tremendous void on our campus. He's a club leader. He's a student leader. It's just going to be hard to not have him around," said Pinson.
Jackson's mother and father witnessed the tribute today. His mother penned a moving letter to the student body--thanking them for their support and asking for continued prayers.
"We encourage them to spend the day telling Jackson stories and talking, and let's let this be a day that we celebrate who he is and what he's been in all of our lives," said Pinson.
Our entire conversation kept going back to the same point with Jackson.
"He just... He's just made of the right stuff," said Pinson.
And that camo may stick around.
"I think right now whatever helps them feel good about coming to school, if they want to keep doing it, it will be up to them," said Pinson.
The school has counselors available to help with grieving students. In the meantime, Pinson says they will continue to show their love and support for this family, knowing some holes can't ever be filled.
Instead of flowers, the family is asking you to donate that money to the Hasan Shrine Fraternal Organization in Albany. The Mitchell County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting, but says no charges have been filed.