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Charlotte County community to gather for Khyler Edman’s funeral

Khyler Edman’s heroic actions continue to inspire students and community members in Charlotte County. On Thursday, his family, friends and people that do not even know the slain teenager will come together to say goodbye.

A son, a brother, a friend and a protector.

Edman taught courage, honor and commitment as a former JROTC cadet at Charlotte High School. Edman died displaying those qualities, giving his life to save his sister during a violent home burglary.

Timothy Thiel and nine other cadets from Lemon Bay High School’s JROTC want to show Edman’s family they treasure his sacrifice. They will attend Edman’s memorial service on Thursday.

“I don’t know him, but I’m still going to go and pay my respects,” Thiel said. “It’s something that I want to do. We want to show that there is still a lot of hope in the world.”

Michael Riley, community liaison with Charlotte County Public Schools, told WINK News the halls have been somber where Edman studied since his death.

Riley confirmed Charlotte High School would have representatives at Edman’s memorial service. It will honor the teenager at the school’s upcoming football game on Friday.

“We are a small, tight-knit community,” Riley said. “And when something like this happens, it is just devastating.”

A whole community devastated, but proud of Edman for selflessly protecting his sister. His death has inspired his neighbor, Shawn Kolanda, to lead a grass roots effort to get repeat offenders with 10 or more charges off the streets.

Kolanda plans to present his proposal to state lawmakers on Thursday at Charlotte County Legislative Delegation meeting.

“He’s missed by everyone that he touched,” Kolanda said. “He was such a gentle soul.”

“He did die courageously,” Thiel said. “And he died honorably.”

The Patriot Riders of America will escort Edman’s family to the First Alliance Church of Port Charlotte on Thursday. The memorial service starts at 4 p.m.

Family and friends want everyone to wear green – the slain teenager’s favorite color.

Reporter:Erika Jackson
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