MODESTO — Family, friends and people who never knew Tylor Crippen gathered at Creekwood Park in east Modesto on Tuesday evening to mourn him.
At least 100 people attended the candlelight vigil for the 18-year-old, who was stabbed to death one week ago while walking with his girlfriend in the park near Creekwood Drive and Ardia Avenue. Three teenagers have been arrested and charged with murder and attempted robbery in connection with the case.
Crippen graduated from Johansen High School last year and was studying at Modesto Junior College with hopes of someday becoming a registered nurse.
"Ty wanted to make a difference," said Modesto Police Chief Galen Carroll. "I think as tragic as it is, in death you can make a huge difference to the community you live in ... and I hope as a community, we don't let Tylor's desire to make a difference stop tonight. That as a community, the candles don't go out tonight but they keep growing."
Crippen's stepfather, Steve Hachey, also said a few words about him that emphasized his bright future and a life cut short. Crippen, his stepfather said, loved music and never left home without his iPod. He was ambitious about his studies and recently had obtained his driver's license.
"Tylor was such a great and amazing young man," Hachey said.
Those in attendance were asked before they left Tuesday night to take the time to meet someone they didn't know and to look out for one another.
"Let's make sure that in a year from now ... we are standing up for each other and we are a closer and tighter-knit community," Carroll said to the crowd. "There are more of us than there are of those individuals who want to victimize us."