Family of murdered Shelton teen publicly speaks for the first time
BRIDGEPORT, CT (WFSB) - The parents of 17-year-old Fairfield Prep student who was murdered last month publicly spoke for the first time about their son’s life and legacy.
The family of Jimmy McGrath participated in a news conference on Friday morning in Bridgeport.
“At the wake, thousands of people were there and each person had their own individual story about Jimmy touched their lives, so that’s the miracle the miracle is Jimmy and his memory,” said Kevin McGrath, Jimmy McGrath’s father. “He was a gift he was a gift to all of us.”
“I had with him, we did everything together and I want justice for him and I’m just, I’m very overwhelmed and thankful for my friends and family and the community supporting us and he’ll forever live on with us and I’ll honor him forever,” said Rosie McGrath, Jimmy McGrath’s sister.
Jimmy McGrath’s parents pleaded with the public to not be influenced by hate and social media. They asked that those connected to the St. Joseph High School community, where the suspect went to school, be left alone. They said other than the suspects, including 16-year-old Raul Valle, no one else should be blamed.
Kevin McGrath asked the law enforcement handle the investigation.
“The authorities are in charge of the investigation. Let them do their job,” he said. “We appreciate the support, but don’t let it get out of hand. Don’t get yourself in trouble because you think you’re helping or representing us or by yelling at an innocent person as they went into a restaurant, that’s not what we want. We want justice and we’re comfortable that the Shelton police and state’s attorney are doing a great job.”
At past events, they thanked the Fairfield Prep community for its support as they grieved the death of their son.
Jimmy McGrath’s loved ones called him a special person. Shortly after he was murdered, he was honored at a Fairfield Prep lacrosse game. His former teammates gave his parents and sister a hug and a blue carnation during a pregame ceremony.
Jimmy McGrath was killed on May 14.
Investigators said he was stabbed outside of a house party in Shelton by Valle.
Four teens were stabbed.
Valle was charged with first-degree murder and is free on $2 million bond.
As the lacrosse game in Jimmy McGrath’s honor proved, the teen’s loved ones wanted the focus to be on the life that was taken. Kevin McGrath, who addressed the crowd briefly that night, said he knew his son was still with his family and the Fairfield Prep community in spirit.
“This is Jimmy saying ‘let’s play. Let’s have a great game,’” Kevin McGrath said.
While the emotions are still raw, the family is calling for de-escalation, saying don’t let anger divide one another.
“Over the last few weeks there’s been a couple of isolated incidents where emotions have gotten the better of our community. As a family we appreciate your compassion, your love for Jimmy, we understand the anger you may be going through, but we caution our friends, not to react out of anger, protect yourself. They have the people who did it, let the criminal justice system take over from here,” said Kevin McGrath.
Rosie McGrath said her younger brother was her best friend.
“The one thing that will impact me for the rest of my life was his passion and his drive. Even though he was my younger brother, I often looked at him as an inspiration and I know he’ll look after me,” she said.
Rosie McGrath said she will honor him forever.
“I’m just happy I had the time I had with him. We did everything together and I want justice for him,” she said.
As the court process plays out, Jimmy’s presence is stronger than ever.
From the sun breaking through the clouds as his classmates gathered on a beach days after his death, to a rainbow appearing during the Fairfield Prep-Shelton Lacrosse game.
“There are just so many signs that are out there, they’re keeping us strong through this terrible situation,” Kevin McGrath said.
Kevin McGrath said he’ll be at Prep’s state playoff lacrosse game Saturday, saying being there is a therapy for him.
Valle faces a judge July 15.
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