POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A grieving father says his teenage son did not realize the danger he was putting himself in when he showed up at a Bartow park Monday night.
“He didn’t realize people carried guns like that. He didn’t know people would hurt him over something so small,” said Mo Taguri, the father of Taigur Taguri.
Taigur Taguri, 17, was killed next to a playground in a park in the Gordon Heights neighborhood, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
He was there to sell marijuana. His “buyers” intended to rob him and then killed him when he tried to drive off, according to Sheriff Grady Judd.
Two 16-year old boys are facing first-degree murder charges. At least two other suspects remain at large.
“I can’t understand, why like that? Why such a violent end for such a gentle person?” asked Taguri. “There’s a spot in my heart that will never be filled. I never realized you could hurt this much.”
Taguri said his son wanted to become a welder after graduating from George Jenkins High School.
Taigur was just coming into his own and had a big heart.
“He was quiet until he warmed up to people but then when he warmed up to people, he would do anything for them,” said Mo Taguri.
He knew his son was “experimenting” and had a run-in with the law before he died.
“We’ve all made mistakes. None of us are perfect. We’ve all got pasts. We’ve all got things. With Taigur, he didn’t realize what he was involved with and the severity. He was so naive,” said Taguri.
Taguri is pushing for his son’s 16-year old accused killers to be tried as adults.
Jacob Orr, a spokesperson with the state’s attorneys’ office, tells 8 On Your Side, the decision will be made once the case is received and reviewed. That is expected to happen next week.
“That was thought out, purposely committed. I think they deserve the worst punishment possible,” said Taguri.
Though he acknowledges, everyone identified so far in this deadly incident were children.
“They don’t understand the finality of those consequences. They don’t understand what they were doing. To them at that point, they haven’t lived long enough, they haven’t experienced enough to understand the ramifications of their actions,” said Taguri.
Deputies say there are at least two other suspects connected to this crime who are not in custody. Taguri has a message for them.
“You guys have taken something from me that is irreplaceable. I want you to know that everybody is looking for you. Grady Judd, the Polk County sheriff’s department, everybody that we know is coming to find you,” Taguri adding. “I just want people to remember him. His life was cut so short so unexpectedly and he touched so many people’s lives. I want his memory to live on.”