Griffin community mourns shooting death of student at graduation party

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A community is mourning the death of a Griffin High School student shot and killed at a graduation party.

Deputies said Cederrius Hastings, 16, died after a drive-by shooting at a graduation celebration over the weekend in Butts County. Three other teenagers were injured but are expected to survive, according to authorities.

Alexiya Buggs, 18, told FOX 5 she hosted the party. She posted a flyer for it on Facebook.

"Word was out that I wanted everyone to have fun. I didn't expect anyone to shoot," Buggs said.

The teenager also said there was an argument before the gunfire. But she doesn't know who fired the shots.

Hastings' family described the 16-year-old father as an outgoing football player.

"He was sweet, funny and goofy," Hastings' cousin Kaniya Jones said. "He always kept a million-dollar smile on his face."

Major Darrell Powers of the Butts County Sheriff's Department told FOX 5 multiple shots were fired from at least one vehicle. Powers also said there was an exchange of gunfire between people in the car and others in the yard. The motive for the shooting was not immediately clear Saturday.

Major Powers called the situation heartbreaking. "These are kids that were getting ready to graduate or had just graduated. They were getting ready to start their lives. And now there's something major that has happened with it. For one, there's a family that lost a son," he said.

The other teenagers who were shot suffered non life-threatening injuries, according to Powers.

The Jackson High School graduation ceremony went on as planned Saturday evening. The Butts County Sheriff's Department posted a message on its Facebook page about security at that graduation event. "There have been NO viable threats made against the graduation ceremony, however we are taking all precautions to ensure the safety of everyone in attendance," Sheriff Gary Long said in that post.