Community remembers 12-year-old Suffolk boy who died one year ago

Posted at 10:55 PM, Oct 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-24 23:30:20-04

SUFFOLK, Va. - Kind messages written on cards, pinned on a photo of 12-year-old Israel Parker. The notes written in colorful markers are for his parents.

"I've been taking it one day at a time. Focusing on his legacy, to be honest," said DeShawn Parker, his father.

A year ago, News 3 covered Israel's vigil, where hundreds of people showed up to remember a young teen who had such a lasting impact.

His P.E. coach, Erik Johnson, said, "He changed an entire population didn't surprise me at all. He is one of a kind."

But a mistake changed everything. The Commonwealth's Attorney in Suffolk said on October 24, 2017, Israel jumped onto a tractor-trailer, fell and ultimately was run over.

Police said he died at the scene. No charges were filed in what was called a tragic accident.

Now, his parents have a message for other parents to keep a closer eye on their kids.

"Be careful always," said Dominique Dismuke, Israel's mom.

"I would have to share with parents to tell them to instill in their children safety. Instill in your children to make good decisions, not spontaneous decisions and think about the consequences," said Parker.

They both agree it was a tragic accident and hope it doesn't happen to anyone else.

Both Dismuke and Parker are still grieving, but said the support of family and friends got them through the hardest year of their lives.