Langford family seeks justice and peace

Langford family seeks justice and peace

It’s only been four months since gunshots rang out from a party near Gamble and Perry streets during Florida A&M University’s homecoming that claimed the life of 20-year-old construction engineering student Quinton Langford and injured his friend, 20-year-old business administration student Landsay Elisson. 

Although the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) received multiple tips, video footage and witness statements, the suspect(s) are still at large. 

“We are continuing to work (on the case) but have not made any updates at this time,” TPD Public Information Officer David Northway said. “We’re still asking people to come forward so that we can bring this case to a close as quickly as possible for the victims’ families.”

Meanwhile, Langford’s family wants Tallahassee residents to know that the FAMU student didn’t have an easy life but he left a strong imprint on his loved ones. They called him “their rock.” They said he would, “give the clothes off his back.” And, he happened to save his uncle’s life. 

“Had it not been for him, I would have lost my life” said Langford’s uncle Harrison Cumbie who was shot in the heart. Langford applied the pressure to the area to stop the bleeding. “It sucks that he was there for me and I couldn’t be there for him.”

Langford hailed from Plant City. His mother died from a car accident when he was just 5-years-old. But, family members say that hardship didn’t stop him from working tirelessly to get into one of the best engineering schools in the southeast. He was awarded a full scholarship to FAMU through the persistence of a high school guidance counselor. Langford became president of the Association of General Contractors and a Membership Chair of the National Society of Black Engineers.

“My kid was a great kid. He honestly was. He had a good head on his shoulders and he knew what he wanted out of life,” said Allen Langford, Quinton’s father. “He had one hell of a personality – always smiling, always joking, always helping other people.”

The Langford family wants the university to continuously publicize the monetary reward leading to the arrest of the suspect(s) and to solicit the help of local media. Tallahassee Police Department’s Public Information Officer David Northway urges people to come forward and report tips anonymously to Crime Stoppers if they are afraid to speak to the police.

Quinton’s grandmother Lisa Carlile urges the shooter to think about her family. 

“Put yourself in our shoes,” she said. “People don’t think about how it could have been them. They selfishly took someone that wasn’t bothering them.”

Carlile believes that someone saw something that day.

“Somebody knows,” she said. “Somebody saw what happened.”

Elisson, who was also shot on Oct. 22, and Quinton used to travel to different Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for events. The two were close and Elisson said that “Quinton was the give the clothes of his back type guy.” 

Elisson  was injured but he is now out of the hospital. He initially was in critical condition after the shooting. Today, he suffers from severe injuries to his central nervous system, which should cause paralysis, he said. But he can walk. Elisson said the gun’s entrance to exit wounds were from neck to mouth. 

Lovingly known as “White Boy Q” around campus, Quinton embraced the nickname and blended seamlessly into the HBCU lifestyle. Flowing from the classroom into social outings with ease, Cumbie said his nephew was “comfortable” at FAMU and well-liked.  

“Even though (Quinton) was white, he got along with everybody,” said Elisson, who talks as much as once or twice a week with Quinton’s father since the shooting. 

Quinton’s father said, “I make sure I stay in contact with him (Elisson) all the time to make sure he’s doing ok. It’s almost like we have a little bond.”

Quinton left two young siblings who “thought the world of him,” Carlile said. 

“He was their rock,” she added. “It devastated both sides of the family.”

Perhaps Quinton’s father best illustrated how Quinton’s death turned into any parent’s nightmare. 

“You’re supposed to be able to send your kids off to school and think that everything will be ok, but I guess not,” said Quinton’s father as the family continues to search for answers. 

Quinton would have turned 21-years-old on Feb. 19