Family, friends celebrate life of Alicia West

Family, friends celebrate life of Alicia West

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Hundreds came out on Saturday to celebrate the life of a woman whose life was cut short as a result of domestic violence.

"Alicia brought crowds. She was just one of those people- you saw her and you just wanted to be around her," classmate Sakineh Reed said.

For that very reason, friends, family and the community came together inside Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in West Shreveport to celebrate the life of Alicia West.

"Alicia made such a big impact in our life, so we all wanted to make an impact for her family, to make them feel comfortable, to make her son realize that he's loved by us also," Reed said.

Just one week ago, police say West's ex-boyfriend, Kelvin Brown Jr., waited until she arrived home early last Saturday morning and fatally stabbed her in the neck. That attack came nearly two weeks after West was granted a protective order against him.

Police arrested Brown hours later, and he was charged with second-degree murder.

"It hits close to home. I myself, I am a single mom," classmate Shuntella Wiggins said. "I've been through troubled relationships."

Pastor Robert Canada offered a message of hope to family and friends, encouraging them to move forward despite the many questions surrounding the loss of their loved one.

"I have no answers, and I must stand here and confess: I don't know why God committed this act," Canada said.

West graduated from Captain Shreve High School in 1999. Many of her former classmates turned out to remember their friend. In her honor, they wore their high school colors of green and gold ribbons to show their school pride and unity during the tragedy.

"It's about 20 years later. We were all about 14 and 15 when we met, and we are all in our 30s," Wiggins said.

"We are all mothers. Alicia loved being a mother. She loved her son dearly, and we just want to keep her legacy living on, Wiggins added.

It was a gesture that the family clearly appreciated. Perhaps West's son summed up things best.

"I really know that everyone misses my mom, but they all have to be brave," the courageous 8-year-old said during Tuesday's vigil.

Wiggins recently started a non-profit organization called Jolly's Place. She says the loss of her friend has pushed her to lead the charge when it comes to changing society's views on domestic violence.

Project Celebration also helps victims of domestic abuse in Shreveport.

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