Duncan_The family of a Duncan man who was gunned down this week says he made some bad choices as a teenager, but they were no reason for his life to be taken. On Friday night, they remembered 18-year-old Cyrus Holland as a good student, athlete, and compassionate human being. On Wednesday, Holland was sitting in a park pavilion, only feet from his house, when a man walked up to him, pulled out a gun, and shot him. The wound he suffered proved more severe than predicted, and Holland later died during surgery.
Holland's family says that when homicides are considered to be gang-related, the victims can be left with a bad reputation. They say that while they know Cyrus made some bad mistakes, and had associated with people he probably should not have, they say his good qualities outweighed the bad. "He died a violent death, but he wasn't a violent person," said his mother, Chrystal Holland.
Flowers, candles, and letters from friends still fill the park pavilion where Holland and his family gathered - tragically the same place where his young life was cut short. "He got out of the car, walked up to my baby, and shot him," said Chrystal. "There was no altercation, there was no yelling." Chrystal was out of town when she got the news that her son had been shot. "If I felt like there was a dangerous environment for my son - because I talked to him before I went out of town - I would have never left, I would have never gone out of town," she said.
Chrystal made it back to Duncan in time to be by her son's side as he passed away. Two days later she is at peace knowing he's in a better place. "He was smart, he was intelligent. he wouldn't harm anyone," she said. "Cyrus was the type if you had a problem would try to fix it - he cared for others." Cyrus' uncle, Jimmy Johnson, remembers that he was a popular young man. "He was a man's man," he said. "All the females liked him. He was a scholar - all the teachers liked him. He was on his way to do great things."
As sad as Cyrus' family is about losing him, they don't harbor any ill will toward the man who shot him. They say they forgive him, but hope Cyrus' death will keep more young men from dying in the same way. "Our young kids are dying every day - at a high rate," said Johnson. "To me, going to the penitentiary is just like a death."
Chrystal says the police can't do it alone. "This community has to come together and stop stereotyping people, stop judging others, and see we need one another," she said. "It shouldn't have to take a death to bring us together."
Cyrus Holland had just graduated from Duncan High this year, and his mom says he planned to go to college or join the military. He would have turned 19 years old later this month - the same birthday as his mother's.
A memorial fund to help the family with burial expenses has been established at the First National Bank in Marlow.
Duncan police continue to search for the suspect, or suspects', involved in the murder of Cyrus Holland. They say they have a person of interest and a possible suspect vehicle. Police say the are not yet ready to release any more information at this time. Police had information that the shooter may have been heading toward Lawton, and Lawton police are also helping with the search.
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