Hundreds of mourners gathered for the funeral of Trinity Gay on Oct. 22 at the Southland Christian Church in the Lexington suburb of Nicholasville, Ky. Gay, the 15-year-old daughter of Olympic sprinter Tyson Gay and a budding track star in her own right, suffered a gun shot wound to the neck at approximately 4 a.m. on Oct 16, in a Lexington Restaurant parking lot near the University of Kentucky. Friends transported the teen to that school’s Medical Center in a private car, where she died from her injury.
Four men, including a father and son, have been charged in connection with her death, as possible participants in an exchange of gunfire between two vehicles, which was allegedly initiated by an illicit firearm sale.
The suspects are Dvonta Middlebrooks, 21, Chazerae Taylor, 38, his 19-year-old son D’Markeo, and 20-year-old Lamonte A. Williams.
Lexington police, in tandem with the Kentucky State Police Forensic labs, are collecting evidence from the shooting site, including a Dodge Challenger and a Ford believed to be connected to the homicide.
The father, a Lexington native who lives apart from his daughter and her mother in Orlando, Fla., flew into the city for the funeral. Earlier in the week, a candle light vigil was held at Lafayette High School’s track. Scores of running spikes hung from an adjoining fence, as attendees released pink and purple balloons (the decease’s favorite colors) at the place where father and daughter made their mark, athletically.
During the service, Tyson Gay gave an impassioned plea for the neighborhood to use the tragedy as a rallying point to better the community, and produce an environment where youngsters can “…have a good time without any type of gun violence.”
Gay has personally pledged to mentor area youth on the path to a positive life. Plans are in the works for a foundation to be established in the deceased’s memory.
Tyson Gay was a member of the 2012 silver medal winning team in the 4×100 meter relays at the London Olympics, but forfeited his medal after testing positive for steroids. He is considered a leading rival to reigning World and Olympic champion Usain Bolt, the dominant sprinter of his generation. Gay’s time of 9.69 seconds in the 100 meters is the second best ever behind the Jamaican, who is regarded as the world’s fastest human.
Following in her dad’s footsteps, Trinity Gay was among the top five finalists in the Kentucky State championships this past May.
Condolences from around the sports world came in via social media, from the likes of NBA star Vince Carter and tennis star Martina Navratilova.