NC boy sings, asks for love, in emotional tribute to fallen prison employees

ELIZABETH CITY, NC (Lavendrick Smith/The Charlotte Observer) - A boy in Elizabeth City has captured the hearts of people on Facebook with a tribute to four prison workers who died during a failed prison break attempt there in October.

In a video that has been viewed more than 160,000 times, the boy sings Jackie DeShannon's "What the World Needs Now."

He dedicates the song to Veronica Darden, Justin Smith, Wendy Shannon and Geoffrey Howe, who died following the escape attempt at Pasquotank Correctional Institute on Oct. 12.

"Our community is hurting. The answer is love. God is love," said the boy, who was identified as Abel E in the video.

While Abel sings, he flips through cards featuring the names of the four victims. His final cards read "community strong" and "never forgotten."

Toward the end of the song, Abel begins to cry, finishing each note as he wipes back tears and his voice starts to break.

Abel wasn't the only one crying. The video has been shared nearly 5,000 times by viewers who expressed they were also saddened by the violence.

"He broke my heart because I feel exactly the same.... God Bless him... He is an Angel....I cried with him..." Amy LaFluer wrote on Facebook.

"What an amazing young man. He has a big heart that will never be forgotten. God Bless him." wrote Beverly McKecuen, another Facebook user.