MODESTO (CBS13) – Hundreds came to a candlelight vigil Tuesday night for an 18-year-old Modesto young man stabbed to death in a city park.

Organizes said the memorial wasn’t just about Tylor Crippen. It was also about empowering the community so that it doesn’t happen again.

Hundreds filled Creekwood Park to remember the slain teenager, including his grieving parents.

“On the night of January 29 our son was murdered in this park,” Steve Crippen said to the crowd.

Police say Tylor was viciously stabbed multiple times in front of his girlfriend last week during what investigators are calling an attempted robbery.

He died at a local hospital from his wounds, and three people were eventually arrested.

“This is a terrible tragedy to have a sweet young man and all the gifts he could have given to the world to be gone,” said Sue Hay, one of Tylor’s high school teachers.

Many of the people at the vigil Tuesday night were complete strangers. They don’t know the family but they see Tylor as their own son or brother.

“This is where my kids play and it could have been my son,” one said. “Tylor was such a great and amazing young man.”

Tylor graduated from Johansen High School last year and was studying at Modesto Junior College.

“There was just an aura about him that he was just a sweet kid,” Hay said.

Tylor Crippen's parents attend a vigil for their son on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 in Modesto. (credit: CBS13)

Tylor Crippen’s parents attend a vigil for their son on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 in Modesto. (credit: CBS13)

In their time of grief his mom and dad found the courage to show their appreciation to the community Tuesday night.

“I would like to thank everybody for coming out,” Steve Crippen said.. It means a lot to us.”

Modesto police officers were at the park too, but many believe they can only do so much.

“It’s all of our responsibility for the health and growth of our communities,” one Modesto man said.

Organizers told CBS13 that this is just the beginning to bring the neighbors together to continue to work with the police.


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