SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - We're learning more about the 20-year-old Shreveport man and beating victim who died Thursday night from his injuries. Prayer is now the remedy called for by some religious leaders to help stop the violence.
"From what I've seen he seemed to be a quiet, humble guy, loved basketball, very friendly and you know if you asked me he should still be here," says Shay Linnear, describing her friend, 20-year-old Robert "Jarod" Farmer.
Farmer was well-known as a two-year starter for Huntington High School's basketball team and had been walking with a group of friends in downtown Shreveport early Sunday morning.
That's when Shreveport Police say Farmer's group got into a fight with another group, arguing about a girl. Farmer was punched in the face and fell, hitting his head on the ground. He died four days later at LSU Hospital.
Demerious Smith and Darrel Phillips were charged with battery in that street fight. Now, Smith's charges have been upgraded to second degree murder. Philips status remains unchanged.
"As long as therer's the devil there's going to be evil in the world. But we, that are people of light, are to do our part and that's what I'm going to encourage," says Bishop L. Lawrence Brandon shortly before he announced on KSLA News 12 at Noon that his church, Praise Temple Full Gospel Cathedral will host a prayer vigil and planning session on Monday night.
Bishop Brandon added, "We're marching with our minds. We're going to get together Monday night, pray but then also try to come up with some solutions where we can take a proactive approach."
Brandon says any solution will likely include helping young people with anger management. "Instead of allowing your angers to flare and to escalate."
The first goal, said Brandon, will be to help Farmer's family heal. "And then also to make a difference that Robert Farmer's death will not be in vain, that somebody might live through this."
That prayer vigil for gets underway at 7-o'clock Monday night at Praise Temple Full Gospel Cathedral, located at 4725 Greenwood Road in Shreveport.