Evan Colquitt was fearless. By the time he was three years old, he had already ditched the training wheels on his bicycle. His parents bought him a go-cart and dirt bike when he was still young and he loved motorcycles. When the family went on vacations to Orlando, Fla., Evan rode the roller coasters with his older sister at Disney World and Busch Gardens. He spent hours at a time at the skateboard park in Savannah, Ga., riding up the walls.
His physical presence was striking. Often, people would ask to touch Evan’s strawberry-blonde hair. As he grew older, he was particular about his curls and preferred his hair straight. At age 14, he was 5 feet, 11 inches, about the same height as his 27-year-old brother. “He matured fast. Maybe that is why he grew up quicker and faster, because his time was going to be short,” his mother, Angie Colquitt, told msnbc.com.
In the evenings, Evan attended classes at Royce Academy in Savannah, where he was born and raised. During the busy season, Evan worked 8 to 10 hours each day at his older brother’s landscaping company. He helped maintain the grounds at local office complexes and condominiums. When it was a slow season, he worked about three days a week, depending on the weather. A shy and quiet teenager, Evan’s landscaping work boosted his self-esteem. He developed friendships there and grew closer to his brother despite a 13-year age difference. Three months ago, Evan used his own money to buy a motorized scooter so he could travel independently back and forth to work, about 10 miles from his home. The scooter brought a sense of independence as he went to the mall and friends’ houses. With the scooter, “he was proud and happy to be able to get from Point A to Point B when he wanted to,” his mother said.
Evan stuck to a close group of friends and often shunned larger gatherings. He collected cross necklaces and colorful baseball hats. “It was all about the bling, the shine,” his father, Rusty Colquitt recalled. When he was 11-years-old, Evan started doing his own laundry and ironing his clothes each morning. When his mother called and asked him what he wanted from the store, he requested bleach and dryer sheets. One year he decided he needed to clean out his closet, and he left himself with three pairs of pants, two pairs of shorts, and five shirts. A laid-back and easygoing teenager, Evan rarely asked for anything. “I didn’t have to pry it out of him: ‘What do you need? What do you want?’” his mother said. The only request he ever had was for his father to bring him home chicken tenders with honey mustard.
Evan was shot and killed in a Savannah neighborhood on Jan. 22.