By Erich Wagner (File photo)
Students, parents and staff at T.C. Williams are mourning the death of Cameron Evans, a sophomore who passed away last week after committing suicide.
A member of the T.C. class of 2016, Evans succumbed to his injuries Thursday, said police department spokeswoman Crystal Nosal. He was the son of a local police officer.
“It’s obviously a very emotional time for the family,” Nosal said.
Kelly Alexander, spokeswoman for Alexandria City Public Schools, said Friday that her office had not yet determined whether to release a public statement. In situations like these, she said, the district acts in accordance with the victim’s family.
“It’s one of those sensitive things where we go by what the family’s wishes are, and we try to abide by them,” Alexander said.
For their part, school officials are accommodating the students and families who wish to memorialize the young Titan’s life. On Monday, family and friends held a viewing for Evans at the First Baptist Church of Alexandria along King Street, and the school hosted a candlelight vigil in the evening.
The T.C. Williams PTSA canceled its meeting scheduled for Monday, and today school officials are allowing students to attend Evans’ funeral at 11 a.m. at First Baptist.
Evans has received an outpouring of support from friends on social media, including remembrances on Twitter and even a hip-hop musical tribute posted to YouTube.
“In the seven to eight years I knew Cam, he taught me more than my dad,” wrote one friend via Twitter.
In a guest blog post on the website of Melynda Wilcox, president of the Alexandria PTA Council, Sarah Merkel examined potential warning signs of teen suicide: deterioration in a student’s academic, work or social life; alcohol or drug abuse; withdrawal from family and friends; and changes in personality or mood.
“Experts agree that the most important thing to do is reach out to teens,” Merkel wrote. “Then keep the conversation going. And finally, get help if needed.”
The Alexandria Police Foundation has started a fund in Evans’ name. Donations can be made via PayPal. More information is available at the organization’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ AlexandriaPoliceFoundation.