Emil M. Crenshaw's family honors slain son, brother, father with vigil
By Sarah Steele Wilson, Newsroom Editor
Jan 9, 2013, 16:00
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Step father, Raymont Tasco, and mother, Lee Tasco, hold a picture of Crenshaw’s son, whose birth he was eagerly awaiting before he died. A baby picture of Emil in the corner shows the resemblance.
Emil M. Crenshaw was the first homicide victim in the region in 2012. He was also a son, a brother, an aspiring musician who hoped to study the subject in college and an expectant father who died before he got to see his son.
On Jan. 7, Crenshaw’s family and friends lit candles and released balloons into the night sky to remember him, a year after his death.
“He passed on the second, but today is his son’s first birthday,” said Crenshaw’s mother, Lee Tasco. “He never got to see his son, so we’re celebrating his son’s birthday.”
Tasco said her grandson, who lives in Maryland with his mother, is now walking and looks exactly like his father as a baby.
“He asked me, would I come with him to see his son be born, and that was the last time I remember actually talking to him,” said Crenshaw’s sister, Shaniqua Studivant. “It’s sad to me, because he never got to see that, and that’s all he was wishing for before he was taken from us.”
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Crenshaw’s step father, mother, grandmother, sisters and godmother hold pictures of Emil in the room set aside for his memory. Pictures and his belongings fill the room.
Although Crenshaw’s family misses the young man, who would have celebrated his twenty-fifth birthday in December, they assembled and lit candles in a different spirit on Monday.
“It’s not to be sad, just to restore memories amongst each other, his family and friends, just to help each other,” said Tasco of the vigil.
Those memories were varied. Tasco said recalled cleaning her son’s room after his death and finding large numbers of lottery tickets, all with the number 900.
“He was going to hit the Mega Million,” said his grandmother Lillie White. “He was gonna buy me a house and buy him a yacht.”
Shaniqua Studivant said she remembered her brother’s smile. Although he was shy, both Shaniqua and sister Shakiyla Studivant said their brother was starting to come “out of his shell” in the days before he died. They even saw him dance for the first time in their lives.
“All we did was just ride and chill and talk, mainly about our future plans,” said Shakiyla Studivant, who spent a lot of time driving with her brother in the weeks before he died.
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Crenshaw’s family and friends had a vigil to remember a son, a brother and a father. The event was also a celebration of the first birthday of Crenshaw’s son, on Jan. 7.
Those plans were focused around college, a dream of the Hopewell High School class of 2006 graduate.
“He wanted to go to school for music,” Shakiyla Studivant said, noting that her brother had picked out a college in Florida and was hitting the books to get ready.
“He just couldn’t wait to see his son,” she added.
Then came the night of Jan. 2, 2012. Police responded to a call of shots fired at approximately 8:30 p.m. When they arrived in the 600 block of East Broadway St. in Hopewell, they found Crenshaw unresponsive and suffering from a gunshot wound to his upper torso.
“I just miss him, every day,” Tasco said.
The family still doesn’t know who shot Crenshaw or anything else about the details of what happened that night. Police are still working the case.
Sgt. Rose Camacho, with the Hopewell Police Department, said that staff has been following up on all the tips they have received and are still receiving.
Camacho urged anybody with information about the incident to come forward, even if they think what they know doesn’t mean anything.
“It doesn’t necessarily not mean anything to us,” she said.
On Monday, the family, clad in shirts printed with Crenshaw’s picture, lit candles, said a prayer and released balloons into the night sky, smiling as they watched them float away.
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Emil Crenshaw’s mother, Lee Tasco, right, and family and friends watched as the balloons they released floated away into the night sky over their neighborhood.
The family is determined to keep Crenshaw’s memory alive. They plan to hold a vigil for him every year and have devoted one room in their house to him, filling it with pictures of Crenshaw and his son and some of his belongings.
“He’ll always be remembered in our hearts,” said Raymont Tasco, Crenshaw’s stepfather. “He’s always living through us.”