‘A gentleman:’ Friends remember teen killed in West Palm gunfire 

Raequan Nicholas Haywood was a ladies’ man. As a boy he wooed his mother’s coworkers with his gentlemanly manners, and as a teen he attracted friends with his down-to-earth attitude. 

The 18-year-old affectionately known as “Nugi” was killed late Sunday in the 1500 block of 44th Street west of North Australian Avenue. West Palm Beach police were alerted to the shooting when Haywood, who was affectionately known as “Nugi,” showed up at a hospital where he later died.

Want to help?

Malisa Smith set up a GoFundMe account help pay for Raequan Hawyood's funeral expenses. You can donate online.

In a song dedicated to Haywood that was posted on SoundCloud, a friend rapped:

“Sometimes I just wish this (expletive) was fake, but it ain’t and I can’t get you back.

“I love you and I miss you already.”

MORE: Man found dead in Lake Park latest of Riviera Beach friends to be killed

The Riviera Beach native did the unexpected, wrote his mother’s former coworker, Malisa Smith, on the GoFundMe page she set up to help cover the cost of Haywood’s funeral. Haywood had hemophilia, a rare disease that keeps blood from clotting normally, records show. But in elementary school he decided wanted to play football, so he quieted his mother’s worries and went out and played.

“He would be the one to take on the world so his mom wouldn’t have to,” Smith wrote.

Smith recalled a young Haywood insisting on carrying her bags into the house for her. He opened doors for people and checked in to make sure others were OK, Smith said.

Police have not commented on what may have motivated Haywood’s killing. His friend Jay-Jay Kinsey told The Post she doesn’t understand why anyone would kill the sweet teen who was focused on making a career in music.

“Haywood is a young man who will never be forgotten by us Riviera Beach natives,” Kinsey said. “In fact, the whole Palm Beach County will make sure his name forever lives on.”


Haywood’s death is one of 22 reported homicides this year in West Palm Beach and one of 70 countywide, according to a Palm Beach Post database.

Haywood’s childhood friend Davion Crometie, 20, was killed four days after Haywood died. Crometie was supposed to be a pallbearer in Haywood’s funeral next weekend, Haywood’s mother said. 

At the time of his death, Haywood was on probation for pleading guilty in 2017 to fleeing from Riviera Beach police, who then fired four shots at him. He previously served time after pleading guilty to car theft in a case stemming from an incident at the Jupiter Beach Resort.

“I thank God for allowing us to have him in our lives for 18 years to show us that not all gentleman are wrapped perfectly in a suit and tie with a clean record and spotless character,” Smith wrote. 

“Some come in a little man that was trying to show the world he can do it on his own.”

Anyone with information about Haywood’s killing is urged to contact West Palm Beach police at 561-822-1900 or Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 800-458-TIPS (8477).

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