Friends mourn loss of Livingston teen

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

LIVINGSTON, Texas - More than 100 people gathered in the parking lot of Livingston High School Sunday to mourn the loss of a classmate.

The 16-year-old was shot and killed Friday evening. Polk County Sheriff's detectives are not yet releasing details of the investigation, but several students and parents tell Local 2 Rhett Lathan was shot outside a home on Easy Street near Old Israel Road.

"One of the best left handed pitchers I know," said friend Mitchell Watson. "We grew up playing tee-ball all the way through high school playing baseball."

"He'd keep you laughing, that was just Rhett," said classmate Mason Black.

"Saw him that day at the pep rally, talking about hanging out, getting an air horn and try to get in trouble," said friend, Joey Mottu. "Just having fun, real great guy."

Under a soft Autumn sunset friends of the teen gathered for a vigil. Dozens of homemade signs lined the street and driveway leading to the school. Students also used traffic cones to block off Lathan's usual parking spot and left several bouquets of flowers. Several students were also seen wearing black and green ribbons, the school's colors, in honor of Lathan.

"Our son, he woke up, and he's standing in the middle of the living room balling his eyes out and there's no reason for it," said parent James Crabtree, whose son was a close friends of Lathan.

"There's no words, and I told him I don't, I can't say anything, all I can do is hugs and love and let him know I was there for him," said parent Misty Crabtree. "There's no words to make it better."

Sheriff's officials are expected to release more information about the shooting on Monday.

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