Mom of DART robbery suspect apologizes at victim's vigil

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on November 24, 2011 at 11:31 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 25 at 1:50 AM

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DALLAS - A Thanksgiving vigil was held at the MLK DART station to remember 19-year-old Octavius Lanier.

"He still lives in our hearts," said the victim's mother, Takeysha Harper. "He will be with all of us."

The teen died after police say a group of boys, ages 12 to 14, pushed him against a train. Lanier severed his leg and died a short time later at a local hospital.

At least two of the suspects have been caught.

The mother of one of the suspects came to the vigil.

"I am so sorry," she said. "I am so sorry."

She did not want to be identified, but told Lanier's mother she heard about the vigil and needed to come.

"My son was one of them," the woman said through tears. "I am so sorry. It's just over some stupid stuff."

And in that moment, Lanier's mother, with all of her strength, offered forgiveness.

"It was senseless, but I'm going to pray for you, too," Harper said. "We both lost our children that night and it's just going to be a lot of wounded hearts behind the situation. I do miss him, but I know my hurt is not any greater than yours. So I do thank you - it took a lot of courage to come. And, I accept your apology."

The women hugged again. A tender moment in an impossibly difficult week.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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