Teen killed had overcome hardship, was on the right path

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - We're learning more about Thomas Wilson, the 17-year-old gunned down in Memphis on Thursday.

Memphis police have released very few details on the case so far.

His mentor Angelica Owens said Wilson had already overcome hardship in his life and was on the right path when he was killed.

"All he wanted to do is talk," Owens said. "He wanted to make you laugh all the time. He was just the person that you just wanted in your life. Like you just wanted to be around Thomas."

Wilson came in to Owen's life last year. The Kirby High Junior participated in the Youth Theology Institute at Rust College last year, a program designed to help high school juniors and seniors find their hidden talents.

Owens was in a planning meeting for this year's program as Wilson arrived at St. Francis hospital with a gunshot wound.

"We were just going in to a meeting to talk about this year's program and we were talking about all the kid that were coming back and everybody talked about Thomas," Owens said.

A boy just 17 years old, who Owens says grew up without either parent in his life, is now gone.

Owens called Wilson a rebel, a teen who didn't have many positive role models in his life until their paths crossed last summer.

"I've seen his social media," Owens said. "I know the social media portrays a very, very negative image, but he was not that person. He was not just that person. I will say that. He wasn't just that person. I think the situations in his life changed him. But I can tell you deep down he was very sincere."

Owens said the teen was only beginning to make the positive life changes and is now gone too soon.

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