Mourners celebrate life of slain Fort Worth student

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by CHRIS HAWES / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on April 14, 2010 at 10:28 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 15 at 8:31 AM

FORT WORTH — Through the grief, there was some relief Wednesday night for the family and friends of 17-year-old Eric Forrester, the Fort Worth honor student who gunned down in his home on Monday.

As they gathered for a memorial service, they learned that police had arrested 24-year-old Bruce Terrell Rogers on capital murder charges.

Rogers was nabbed less than an hour after police asked for the public's help in finding him. He will remain in the jail in lieu of a $1 million bond.

News of his apprehension came in a text message to those attending the memorial service at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, bringing the first genuine joy of the day to some mourners.

"It lifted a whole lot off my shoulders," said one student. "I flipped out, I was so happy," said another.

Forrester's friends said they are confident police will also identify and find a second suspect who remained at large late Wednesday.

Investigators said Forrester was shot in his own home when he surprised two intruders.

But at the memorial service at Forrester's church Wednesday night, no one spoke about the crime. Instead, they remembered the 17 years before that tragic day, telling stories of how the popular young man who was a competitive swimmer used every opportunity to make friends.

"He was in Lane 4 right next to me. I said, 'good luck, and he said the same thing," one young man said.

"He taught me how to play hacky sack," another swim team member said. "He loved to play hacky sack, and he taught me a few tricks to catch it on my foot and throw it in the air and catch it on my back."

"Oh, my gosh!" said a young woman at the memorial. "I had the biggest crush on this boy, I did. His positive energy just -- you know -- went out to you. You felt happy just being around him.

Forrester was three badges away from becoming an Eagle Scout, and planned to complete the two-year mission traditonal for young men in the Mormon church after attending college.

His death did not end his ability to change lives. Forrester's family donated his organs. It was, everyone agreed, what he would have wanted.

E-mail chawes@wfaa.com

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