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Palm Beach Gardens leaders hold moment of silence for Ryan Rogers

Community reflects on death of 14-year-old boy, arrest of murder suspect
Ryan Rogers in soccer uniform superimposed over memorial for him
Posted at 9:39 PM, Dec 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-03 08:56:55-05

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — During Thursday night's City Council meeting, Palm Beach Gardens Mayor Rachelle Litt asked for a moment of silence to reflect on the seemingly senseless killing of a 14-year-old boy.

"At this time, I'd like to have a moment of silence for Ryan Rogers," she said. "May his parents and family feel the love and support of our community during this difficult time."

Litt thanked the efforts of the police and the two weeks of around-the-clock work to capture the man accused of killing Ryan Rogers.

"I want to thank them all for their dedication and persistence in finding the clues that ultimately led to finding the suspect in Ryan's murder," she said.

Ryan Rogers picture at Palm Beach Gardens police news conference, Dec. 2, 2021
A picture of Ryan Rogers serves as a backdrop at a Palm Beach Gardens Police Department news conference, Dec. 2, 2021, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Litt said stress and concern have been felt by families across this community, but that pales in comparison to what the Rogers family is dealing with after the loss of a beloved son and brother.

"I can only imagine it's nothing compared to the hell that Ryan's parents and loved ones have been going through since his body was discovered," she said.

The 14-year-old was found dead on Nov. 16 near the Central Boulevard sidewalk at the Interstate 95 overpass.

Semmie Williams Jr. now stands accused of the crime.

Semmie Williams Jr. arrest photo, suspect in murder of Ryan Rogers
Semmie Williams Jr. was arrested on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Ryan Rogers. Police say he stabbed the 14-year-old boy multiple times in the head and face.

Residents are still trying to process what police said is a random attack.

Most people who spoke to WPTV said there are still more questions to be answered, including just what brought Williams to Palm Beach Gardens.