Yakima family remembers the smile they can't forget

YAKIMA, Wash. -- For the first time, the family of a young man shot to death in Yakima shares its story. Anthony Yocom was killed near his home on West Mead Avenue.

Nikkia Baily and Richard Yocom look at pictures of their nephew Anthony. Anthony grew up not knowing his father and his mother died when he was seven. Nikkia was the one who raised him and is still coming to grips with his own death.

"He just, he loved life. And, even at the most tough times for him or the most troublesome times for him, he always had that smile", Nikkia Baily told KIMA.

That smile in the pictures is all that's left. Anthony Yocom was shot to death in his own neighborhood.

The 22-year-old had no history of gangs. It's not clear if the 15-year-old suspect did.

In some sort of eery premonition, Nikkia says Anthony planned his own funeral with one of his friends in case something ever happened to him.

"He wanted everyone to wear white because he wanted it to be happy. And that was one of his request. Fort everyone to wear white and I think for the most part a lot of people did", said Nikkia Baily.

Anthony started playing ball here in his neighborhood at a young age. In high school, he realized his passion for wrestling and football. He lettered in both.

The family tells me Anthony was looking to play for the Arena Football League's Spokane Shock and planned to go to college. Now, his Uncle looks back at a conversation they had days before the shooting and wonders if he should have done something different.

Richard Yocom, Anthony's uncle told us, "he asked me to ride you know mountain bikes and whatever you know. I should have just picked him up and said let's go."

Memories are what they cling to now. And, that smile they can't forget.

The 15-year-old suspect is due in juvenile court next Wednesday. A hearing on whether to try him as an adult will take place later.