Amid mystery, funeral held for slain teen

Published On: Aug 06 2014 08:58:49 AM EDT   Updated On: Jun 22 2014 11:20:00 PM EDT

VIDEO: The funeral for a slain 15 year old was held today as the boys family tries to cope with the grief and struggle for answers as to what happened and why.


It's been one week since a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed in a Westside home. As the parents and family still wait for answers to how it happened, they came together Sunday to honor his life.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Bryan Layfield's stepmother first told them someone shot the boy in the back yard and that she saw two men running away.  After police said they found a bloody .22-caliber rifle in the attic, that stepmother, Christy Files, was arrested on charges of tampering with evidence.

Files now says Layfield was shot accidentally inside the home and that she hid the gun in the attic.  Other than saying that they don't believe Layfield shot himself, police haven't released any details of the investigation into the boy's death.

The family said their goodbyes Sunday night during a tearful funeral but swore they would continue to fight for answers.

"We're committed as a family and we're going to stay together and we're going to stay looking and searching for the truth until we've found it," said John Erwin, Bryan's uncle. "We're not giving up, we shouldn't have to. We lost a 15-year-old, we need answers, and somebody is going to give them.”

Police have not released a report on the shooting itself. Other than a preliminary statement given at the scene Sunday night, a representative with the Sheriff's Office has only said, "This is an active homicide investigation. The victim did not shoot himself."

"It hurts bad,"Layfield's uncle Dillon Barber said. "He was a good kid. He's always done good in school. He liked school, went and played football, basketball. He'd do anything for anybody."

Barber said Layfield loved to do anything outdoors.

"He was just all about skateboarding and having a good time," Barber said.

Layfield's mother, Amanda, who lives in Georgia, is heading back home. She said her next step is to hire a lawyer so she can get to the bottom of what happened. 


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