(Farmington, MS) Neighbors and friends held a vigil, praying for the family of Billy Loyd Jr. and his son Andrew.
Early Wednesday morning, authorities said Billy Loyd Jr. shot his son before taking his own life. Andrew Loyd is now at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital.
The hospital has not updated Andrew’s condition because the family has asked that the information to be kept private. Earlier Wednesday, Andrew Loyd was in critical condition.
Wednesday evening, close friends and neighbors prayed for the boy’s recovery.
“Words can’t describe it. Like I said, it’s a community loss, the community is shocked,” said Tommy Wilson, director of Living Free Ministries.
Wilson saw Billy and Andrew Loyd every Monday and Thursday for community meals. Wilson said Billy Loyd would always mention his family members and offer to help others.
“I would say that he had a compassion about helping folks and was concerned about other folks,” Wilson said.
Meanwhile, Loyd must have battled troubles of his own, for which he found no help.
Friends read a Facebook message he posted less than a day ago, about having only 50 cents left and having all his bills to pay. He said he would take his life and apologized to his loved ones.
“Unfortunately I didn’t see it until it was too late,” said Melissa Evans, his neighbor next door.
Evans said Tuesday seemed like a regular day, with the adults sending the kids off to school. Their children even played together in the evening.
Evans didn’t hear anything until about 1:00a.m. when sirens grew near.
Looking at his Facebook message, she said, “It’s like he’s asking for help. But he just doesn’t know how.”
Evans also recalls a standoff between Loyd and police a few months ago.
“He had him at gunpoint, and they were able to talk him out of it that time,” she said.
Farmington police told News Channel 3 Andrew then went to live with relatives, but he seemed to return to his father’s care.
Andrew had lived with his father for most of his life, because his mother had passed away when he was young.
Carol Brawner, who has known Loyd’s family her whole life, said the neighbors would have done everything to help him.
“As many people that’s here tonight, if we had all given 50 cents, you know that would have paid a bill,” she said.
The many children present for Wednesday’s vigil drew pictures and left stuffed animals for Andrew Loyd at his doorstep. They received counseling from one of the area pastors.