“I just remember seeing pictures where he was being goofy,” Rochell Floyd, an old family friend, told Channel 3000. “You could just see the kid in him…I think those things need to be shown, that he was a real person, and he had a real soft side.”

Madison native Alec Hill, who never met Tony, said it was “such a tragic event. It’s heartbreaking. We have kids in their early 20s, and in terms of the community and the pain that people are in, we just wanted to be part of it.”

“I have seen Jews, black, brown, white, Asian, Christians, Muslims—I’ve seen it all today,” Courtney Miller, a friend of Tony’s family, told reporters. “What brought me out was that—to see, can this community that I’ve been in so long, can it come together? Can it come together in unity and show what Madison is really about?”

Friends said the outpouring of support and emotion would have made Tony proud.

“He would probably be in awe to realize he’s made such an impact,” Floyd said. “[He’d] know that his name is not going to go down in vain. That this has brought people together—because that’s not usually what death does to this extent. I would like to think he’s standing with pride.”