Fam­ily, friends re­mem­ber UB stu­dent killed in Toronto

Three men have been charged in what po­lice say was an un­pro­voked at­tack

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - By Colin Camp­bell cm­camp­bell@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/cm­camp­bell6

Raw emo­tion filled a ball­room at La Fon­taine Bleue in Glen Burnie on Sun­day as friends and fam­ily of Ju­lian Jones grap­pled with the death of the 26-year-old Univer­sity of Bal­ti­more stu­dent and sought to cel­e­brate his life.

Jones was killed in what au­thor­i­ties say was an un­pro­voked at­tack out­side a night­club in Toronto on Nov. 5. Toronto po­lice have charged three peo­ple in his death.

Jones’ fa­ther, To­bias, called his el­dest son “a spe­cial kid” who was ma­ture be­yond his years, al­ways did what he was asked, and nur­tured a dream of build­ing a green­house and grow­ing food for the less for­tu­nate.

Ju­lian Jones was study­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity and hu­man ecol­ogy at the Univer­sity of Bal­ti­more.

“He was a greater man at 26 than I was,” To­bias Jones said.

Se­conda Hollinger re­mem­bered her god­son as a peace­maker. She told his friends and fam­ily to push for pos­i­tive change on his be­half: “Do not let his life be in vain.”

Jones’ sib­lings and grand­par­ents walked to the front of the ball­room to light can­dles and lower their heads in prayer.

Justin Jones, 23, de­liv­er­ing a eu­logy, looked out at some of his brother’s clos­est friends, strug­gled for words and was over­come with tears.

“I loved my brother with ev­ery­thing in my heart,” he said. “He was my best friend.”

Af­ter tak­ing a long breath to re­gain his com­po­sure, Justin Jones told ev­ery­one how his big brother had sup­ported him through their mother’s death just two weeks af­ter Justin’s high school grad­u­a­tion. Ju­lian pushed him to go to culi­nary school and get his de­gree, he said.

“You have to com­plete your goals, com­plete your dreams,” his brother told him. “He re­minded me of that ev­ery day.” James John­son said he’d met Jones at the end of el­e­men­tary school and they be­came best friends.

He solemnly ad­dressed Jones’ fam­ily and fi­ancee, Shenel Dar­den, whomJones was to marry at Ni­a­gara Falls in April.

John­son ges­tured to the large group of Jones’ friends, and said they planned on keep­ing ev­ery prom­ise he’d made — in­clud­ing tak­ing Dar­den to Ni­a­gara Falls.

“We want to do what he would’ve done,” he said.

Another friend, Joshua Mor­ris, shared a mem­ory of fish­ing, one of Jones’ fa­vorite ac­tiv­i­ties. They had cast their lines into a pond, he said, and when Jones reeled his back in, he jumped up and dropped his fish­ing rod.

A tur­tle had some­how got­ten caught on the line, he said. It quickly freed it­self.

“Ev­ery time I see a tur­tle now, I’m go­ing to think of Ju­lian,” he said.

Dar­den, 28, met Jones through mu­tual friends at Anne Arun­del High School. The cou­ple be­gan dat­ing in Septem­ber 2015.

She said he had a “lov­ing spirit.”

Re­gard­less of what had hap­pened in his life on any given day, Dar­den said, Jones would make sure the peo­ple around him were hav­ing a good one.

“That’s what I loved about him,” she said. “He made such an im­pact on peo­ple’s lives.”

She said she and Jones were very close and shared in each other’s ac­com­plish­ments.

“I’d never known love like that,” she said. “He was an amaz­ing per­son.”

Jones’ friends wore Wash­ing­ton Red­skins rib­bons, his fa­vorite foot­ball team. The fam­ily gave out seeds for trees and flow­ers to plant in his mem­ory. Another friend, Nick Thomp­son, played “Rainy Night in Ge­or­gia” and “Fire and Rain” on the acous­tic guitar.

“I can still hear his voice,” Thomp­son said as he played. “I can hear his laugh, too.”

Friends and fam­ily stepped for­ward to look at pho­tos of Jones at a friend’s wed­ding, at the beach, fish­ing as a kid, and pos­ing for a youth soccer photo. In one, he’s a young child sit­ting on his fa­ther’s knee.

To­bias Jones re­mem­bered how a 5-yearold Ju­lian made him cry on Ca­reer Day, when he told his en­tire kinder­garten class that he wanted to be like his fa­ther when he grew up.

At re­cent vig­ils at Arun­del High School and the Univer­sity of Bal­ti­more, To­bias Jones said, he was heart­ened by peo­ple stand­ing to share the im­pact his son had on them.

“He had faith and he loved peo­ple, and they loved him back,” To­bias Jones said.

KEN­NETH K. LAM/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

Justin Jones is over­come with emo­tion as he re­mem­bers his elder brother Ju­lian Jones, dur­ing a me­mo­rial gath­er­ing Sun­day in Glen Burnie. He said Ju­lian had pushed him to go to culi­nary school and get his de­gree.

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