Balloon release held in memory of 19-year-old Austin shooting victim planning to play college football


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Family and friends will remember 19-year-old Javone Montre Hodges as a beloved student-athlete who stood out on and off the field.

Javone Montre Hodges was expected to attend Mesabi Range College on a football scholarship (Courtesy Keesha Hodges)
Javone Montre Hodges was expected to attend Mesabi Range College on a football scholarship (Courtesy Keesha Hodges)

“My son was fun-loving,” Hodges’ mom, Keesha, told KXAN on Saturday as family and friends prepared for a balloon release in his memory at Davis/White Northeast Neighborhood Park. “If anybody needed anything, he was there.”

Hodges had a full future laid out in front of him.

The Northeast Early College High School football player was looking forward to attending Mesabi Range College in Minnesota on a football scholarship this fall.

“I wish he was here,” said Keesha.

Family and friends packed the park in support of Keesha and her son with blue, white and number eight balloons Saturday.

“This is showing the impact my son had on everybody,” explained Keesha. “I knew my son was well-liked, but this is the proof right here.”

His family and friends were excited to watch Hodges’ future come to fruition, until he lost his life after he was shot at a birthday party in far south Austin last Sunday.

“I wish I could rewind everything,” Keesha explained. “I wish I could’ve told him to stay home that night.”

Austin Police said shots were fired after a disturbance between several people, ending in Hodges’ death and another person injured. The accused, 19-year-old Coolidge Ali Humphries, was arrested Thursday with the help of the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force.

“I want justice big time,” said Keesha. “They took my world away from me.”

Humphries is charged with murder and at last check was in custody in the Travis County Jail with bond set at $100,000.

Hodges’ mother said she hopes more people come forward with information about what happened that night.

“We miss you, we needed you here,” said Keesha in a heartfelt message to her son, wishing the balloons would reach him. “We’re going to fly high with you in Heaven.”

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