STOUGHTON — Nearly 300 people gathered at St. James Catholic Church Sunday night to remember 17-year-old David Wade, a sweet, goofy young man with a fierce streak of originality and a passion for football, who authorities say was shot and killed Saturday afternoon by his older brother.
“He was one of the nicest kids I know,” said Malachi Baugh, 16, a junior at Stoughton High School and Wade’s teammate on the varsity football team. Wade, said Baugh, had trained hard all summer to earn a starting position on the team for this, his senior year. For the first time, Wade was getting a lot of playing time as a defensive tackle.
“He would have had a great year,” said Baugh. “The year of his life.”
Wade was shot once in the chest, allegedly by his 21-year-old brother, in the basement of their Stoughton home, little more than a mile from where his friends came to pray for his family Sunday. Wade’s brother had only recently received his firearms license, according to Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey, and the gun belonged to a family member.
No charges have been filed in the shooting, which is still under investigation. Police said they have not ruled out that the shooting may have been an accident, according to David Traub, spokesman for the Norfolk district attorney’s office.
The Rev. John Kelly, who said the Sunday evening Mass, said Wade’s family is in seclusion. They did not attend the Mass.
Before Sunday’s Mass, Wade’s friends stood in tight groups, hugging and crying.
“This is the time and place where you need to be in God’s house,” Kelly told them during Mass. As Wade’s friends, he told them, they must promise to be there for each other. “This is what we do. This is what we need to be as a faith-filled community.”
Instead of going out tonight, he told them, go home and be with family. “Your moms and your dads need you,” he said.
Wade was a three-sport athlete, his friends said — a football player, a member of the track team, and a cheerleader.
“He was not afraid to go against the tide,” said Brendan Malley, 18, who played football last year with Wade. Malley is now a freshman at Bridgewater State. “He had the guts to stick with [cheerleading], even if people gave him grief for it.”
Wade’s 21-year-old brother, whom police have not named, was a cheerleader, too, said 17-year-old Callie Concannon, who added that she met Wade freshman year, when they were stunt partners on the cheerleading team. He would anchor their tricks, tossing her in the air.
Wade could always make her laugh, she said.
He was, she said, the “spitting image” of his 21-year-old brother, and the two were always together.
“They looked alike, they acted alike,” Concannon said.
“I know people are going to blame [his brother] for this, especially those who don’t know him, but he’s honestly a good person,” she said, as she started to cry. “He’s going to have a really hard time with this. Pray for him, too. He has to deal with something no one can ever imagine.”