MT. PLEASANT (KDKA) — Like his father and older brother, James R. Gustafson wanted to be Mt. Pleasant firefighter.
“He was gonna be one of us in June. He was gonna be a junior firefighter,” said Mt. Pleasant Mayor Jerry Lucia.
But Gustafson’s dream was snuffed out when the 13-year-old was shot dead earlier this week. The gunman was allegedly another teen.
On Thursday, his friends and community members gathered to say goodbye, all affected by the loss of the young man. Taking it the hardest, his family and young friends.
The ceremony included a letter read by a friend. Many wonderful things were said about the teen who loved to hit the slopes, loved his Denver Broncos and loved life.
“He will go as an honorary member of the Mt. Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department,” said Mayor Lucia.
The funeral procession to his final resting place was lead by the fire trucks he’d hoped to man someday. The mayor is hoping somehow someone learns from all of this.
“What they’ll learn by it, is the folks with young adults will be more cautious. They’ll be teaching them right from wrong with guns in the homes. Damn price to pay,” Mayor Lucia said.
14-year-old John Burnsworth has been charged in the shooting, and is being held without bond.