UPDATED: Victim of ‘hate crime’ shooting dies

Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 09:48 AM.

Butler acknowledged shooting Gant.

The incident fueled a community outpouring of support for Everett Gant and his family, an extended family with deep roots in the community. One of his great-uncles is Paul Gant of BBQ fame.

The Lions Club of Port St. Joe immediately established and seeded an account at Centennial Bank to help the family defray medical costs.

A Facebook page, “Praying for Everett,” was put up and a candlelight vigil that drew more than 100 people to Frank Pate Park was organized within days of the shooting.

The outpouring from the community brought Everett’s mother to the newspaper office several weeks ago.

Gloria Gant, a popular teacher at Port St. Joe High School, said the community support was vital during such a trying time for the family.

“When people read about this they might think this is the most awful community,” Gloria Gant said. “But it is not. This is the warmest, most generous community and we can’t thank everyone enough for their support. We would not be getting through this without that support.

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