LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - More than 80 people packed the University of Louisville's Trager Center Sept. 22 for a memorial to honor Daniel Covington, the former football player shot to death six days earlier.
The memorial, which lasted about 90 minutes, started inside, but ended with a candlelight vigil outside the indoor practice facility for UofL football.
During the service inside, Donna Covington, Daniel's mother, wanted to thank her sons' friends in private for their support. She said she never realized how much of an influence her son was.
Mrs. Covington, better known by Daniel's friends as Momma Cov, said her week continues to get better every day. She told the crowd she knew her son, but for the first time is learning about a different side to him. Mrs. Covington said she is honored to know many people cared about the 23-year-old and that he impacted so many lives.
About Daniel's legacy, his mother said, "We have the same opportunity to influence people like he did...to love to have a big heart and to have a big smile...that would be a great legacy. You can remember Daniel by doing what he did."
"You hate the way this tragedy happened, but I don't think it's a mistake that God used Daniel to join us together so we can uplift the name of Jesus Christ in the name of Daniel," said Troy Pascley, a UofL wide receiver.
Donna Covington said it's the families' faith that has gotten them through it.
"Nobody is more heartbroken than I," said Mrs. Covington. "But the bible says that Christ is my peace. That turns my grief into life."
Mrs. Covington hopes people will use her son as an example and influence too.
Daniel Covington was shot and killed around 2:30 a.m. Sept. 16. Louisville Metro Police said Covington was assaulting two people in a car near 2nd and Liberty Streets. The family of former UofL baseball player Isaiah Howes has confirmed their son pulled the trigger. Police have said it appears the shooting was a case of self-defense.
Pascley said people need to pray for Howes and not hold a grudge against him. Howes' parents told WAVE 3 they hope that one day they can meet with the Covington family to talk about what happened.