Family, friends gather to remember David Joseph

Memorial for David Joseph in his neighborhood on Yager Lane. (KXAN Photo/Sophia Beausoleil)
Memorial for David Joseph in his neighborhood on Yager Lane. (KXAN Photo/Sophia Beausoleil)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Candles, flowers, sports mementos and photos of David Joseph mark the spot on Nature’s Bend where the 17-year-old was shot and killed by an Austin police officer.

On Wednesday afternoon, Joseph’s family and friends gathered there to remember him.

Joseph, 17, died on Monday after being shot by Officer Geoffrey Freeman. Police say the teenager was nude and acting aggressively when he charged at Freeman. The teenager did not have a weapon on him.

Vigil for David Joseph on Feb. 10, 2016 (KXAN Photo/Paul Shelton)
Vigil for David Joseph on Feb. 10, 2016 (KXAN Photo/Paul Shelton)

“He became like one of my brothers, one of my best friends,” said Robyn Osswald a neighbor and childhood friend.  “We would always put the peace sign over our faces almost every single picture that we had that’s what we did.”

Pflugerville ISD’s records show Joseph was at Connally High School until May 2015.  Joseph’s oldest brother said the teen was enrolled in a charter school for his senior year.

“What most I’m going to miss about my little brother will be just how amazing he is,” said Joseph’s oldest brother, Fally Joseph, as he fought back tears. “Just that smile he had a great smile.”

Wednesday was Fally’s birthday but said he couldn’t celebrate because he didn’t feel like he could without his baby brother.  David Joseph’s birthday would have been on Feb. 28.

“My brother was just caring, I mean the different people that are here that I’ve never seen but he knew is just amazing,” said Fally.

Joseph’s brother said his friends called his little brother “Pronto.”

“A lot of people don’t realize that ‘pronto’ didn’t come from somebody like a friend, which is funny, he just out of nowhere started calling himself that and said it’s going to catch on,” said Fally. “Pronto means fast, he was a fast kid, he was fast on the field so he named himself pronto.”

People who knew David describe him as smart, ambitious, athletic and peaceful, which is why family and friends said they’re having a tough time understanding what happened Monday morning.

“Like when I first heard it, I was like, ‘There’s no way, that has to be somebody else,” says Osswald.  “Out of this I just want  justice for David because I know that he didn’t deserve that.”

Joseph is survived by his mother, Ketty Sully and brothers Fally and Mark Joseph.

“My mom want’s people to know who he is and that the person that the media or whoever is claiming him to be is not that person,” said Joseph’s oldest brother, Fally. “He was an amazing person that wanted to go to school and wanted to do more he wanted to just always share his love and that’s what my mom wants people to know is who that amazing person was.”

A family friend has set up a GoFundMe Page to help the family pay for funeral costs.

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