Two teenagers linked to the murder of a high school footballer in Georgia was charged on Friday with felony murder, among other charges, as the community mourns the unexpected death of its star athlete.

Elijah DeWitt, an 18-year-old football player from Jefferson High School in Georgia, was found dead outside of a Dave & Buster’s chain restaurant on Wednesday, being found by police officers after they received reports of a shooting happening in the area, according to the New York Post.

After a search for the culprits of the killings, local Georgia authorities arrested 18-year-old Kemare Bryan and 19-year-old Chandler Richardson on Friday for their role in gunning down DeWitt outside of the restaurant, a Gwinnett County press release said.

“Detectives are still working to investigate the motive behind this incident, [though] it appears that the suspects and the victim were familiar with each other and when they encountered each other in the parking lot,” the police said in the press statement.

Many of the residents of the Georgia town are grieving for the sudden death of DeWitt, who was seen as kind-hearted and ambitious, and who had aspirations towards becoming a college football player, FOX 5 reported.

“I want him to be remembered as a fierce competitor with a very large heart,” Dawn DeWitt, Elijah’s mother, said. “His life just came completely to a screeching halt in seconds.”

A candlelight vigil was held on Sunday night by about a hundred of DeWitt’s family, friends, and neighbors, with many grieving the unexpected killing of the football star. Many of those who came shared stories of how Elijah had affected them in their life.

“If you could have a tragedy like this somewhere, I'd say this is it, come here to have that one because it has just been an amazing community,” Craig DeWitt, Elijah’s father, said.

When asked about their opinions over Elijah’s killers, the family appeared unanimous in giving their forgiveness to the killers in question.

“Forgiveness is for the forgiver. We don't want the hate in this household,” Craig DeWitt said.

“He said life moves on, it's sad, but you got to pick back up and you can't be mad at anybody,” Bailey Reidling, Elijah’s long-term girlfriend, said.

Charged with other crimes such as malice murder, aggravated assault, and firearm possession, the two will be extracted from their home in Lawrenceville to Gwinnett County on Monday to face the charges.

American Football Star Rep. Picture
The two alleged teenage killers of a Georgia high school football star were arrested on Friday by local authorities as the community mourns for the sudden and unexpected death. This is a representational image. John Torcasio/Unsplash.