T-shirt designer works to raise money for family of fallen Battle High School graduate

The Columbia Police Department said officers found 20-year-old Rovon Blocker dead in an apartment building Saturday. Officers said he had a gunshot wound. (Photo Courtesy of Blocker family)

Everett Roberson said he didn't know Rovon Blocker, but when he woke up this morning, his timeline on Facebook was filled with friends status' expressing their shock at Blocker's death.

The Columbia Police Department said officers found the 20-year-old dead in an apartment building Saturday. Officers said he had a gunshot wound.

Crime scene investigators were on scene for several hours collecting evidence. Officers said thanks to cooperation from community members, they were able to take a juvenile into custody who was directly linked to the shooting.

Roberson said he knows what it's like to lose someone to gun violence. His friend, Jamar Hicks, died last year in a shooting outside of a Columbia gas station.

"He got shot," Roberson said. "He was just out one night. He was in the wrong car. They shot up the car - unintended target. He got hit. He ended up dying. I played ball with him a lot. He was just like my cousin."

Roberson runs a custom vinyl company called Everything's EZ. When Hicks died, he made a shirt for himself to remember his friend, and he said the response was overwhelming. He said that's when a light bulb went off in his head.

"I decided well, if everybody's going to buy R.I.P. shirts, and they buy them from me, then I'll give back to the family," he said.

Roberson was able to raise around $1,000 for Hicks' mom to help her with funeral expenses.

He's done this two additional times for Columbia families that lost a loved one at a young age. When he heard of Blocker's death, he said, he knew right away he wanted to help.

"I feel like this is another chance to help another family in need, and just trying to help as much as I can," he said.

Roberson said he has been in touch with Blocker's mom and sister to design a shirt that he will then sell to help raise funds for Blocker's funeral. He said anyone wanting to buy a shirt or donate to the cause can contact him through Facebook.

Friends told Roberson Blocker was a hardworking person with a loving family and young son. He graduated from Battle High School where he played football.

Sunday evening friends and family gathered outside the apartment building where Blocker lost his life. They prayed, hugged and released gold and blue balloons in memory of him.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off