TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – On Tuesday night people gathered at the Sun Dome to remember former USF standout Elkino Watson, 23. Many of the people gathered said the former Bulls defensive lineman was like family.
Todd Chandler grew up with Watson and was a teammate. “He was always the funny guy. Always the guy who’s gonna dance, make everybody laugh. He just create a positive energy. He was loved by everybody,” Chandler said.
Many called Watson “Kino.” On Tuesday he was remembered as a great father to three young children. The mourners called him a gentle giant.
USF Student Leah Vanbart met him just once. “He’s the nicest, most gentle, funny guy. He’s big. He looks scary but he’s the nicest guy,” Vanbart said.
Photos of Watson on the Sun Dome’s big screen moved many attendees to tears. The photos of his children proved especially powerful. “His girlfriend, I heard her hollering. I just heard her crying when they were speaking and stuff, so that was pretty hard,” Katura Levison said.
The assailant also stabbed Bulls player Desmond HorneSun Dome. He’s recovering at Tampa General Hospital. Tampa Police are trying to identify several witnesses captured on Ybor City security cameras, hoping they can lead them to the stabber.
The attack focused attention on Ybor City this week, with Bulls coach Willie Taggart banning his players from the area – and then taking it back.”Ybor’s a great place. My family, my wife and I, we go down there with my boys, even take my little girl down there, too,” Taggart later said.