12-year-old cousin of murdered football star Zaevion Dobson killed in drive-by shooting

A 12-year-old boy was killed in a drive-by shooting just hours after attending an anti-gun violence basketball game to honor his 15-year-old cousin, who died in a shooting in December.

Jajuan Latham died of a gunshot wound to the head, Knoxville police said Sunday.

Jajuan Latham, 12, was killed in a drive-by shooting just hours after attending an anti-gun violence basketball game to honor his 15-year-old cousin, who died in a shooting in December

He had attended a basketball game in honor of his cousin Zaevion Dobson, a rising Tennessee high school football star, who died while shielding his friends in a December shooting that drew attention from President Barack Obama.

Authorities said Latham was in the back of his father’s parked vehicle at Knoxville park on Saturday when shooting erupted between park attendees and occupants of two passing vehicles.

Hubert Latham, Jajuan’s father, told WATE-TV that the pair attended the game earlier that day at Fulton High School.

When the shooting occurred around 9:46pm, Latham said the first thing he did was reach for his son only to realize ‘he’s not moving’.

He told reporters: ‘When I picked him up, that’s when I realized, what I seen, blood.’

Hubert said he rushed his son to the hospital and carried him into the emergency room.

But Jajuan died from his injuries two hours after he was shot.

‘It broke my heart 30 minutes later when they came out and told me my son was dead,’Hubert told WATE.

The game, which was organized by former University of Tennessee basketball player Bobby Maze, was held to encourage Knoxville youth to halt violence.

Four years ago Maze lost one of his close cousins to gun violence and after hearing of Zaevion’s story, he knew he had to help out.

Maze told WATE-TV that he was ‘devastated’ and ‘hurt’ by the shooting.

He said the purpose of the event ‘was to shed light on some of the things that has been happening in this community’.

Maze said because of all the gun violence, he just ‘wanted to bring something positive to this area and to find out a kid that participated and came out to support this event was killed after and 12-years-old, you know, it’s just sad’.

Jajuan and Zaevion’s mother, Zenobia, were in attendance along with at least 200 people there for a cook-out.

Police Chief David Rausch, along with community pastors and other leaders, held a news conference Sunday pleading for help in finding suspects.

‘If you know who did this, tell us,’ Rausch said.

Rausch asked for the community to step up, saying ‘we can’t bury any more kids’ because this is the ‘second innocent young person in our community that has had his life ended by senseless violence’, according to WVLT-TV.

Police believe the shooting was gang related because there were lots of shell casings found at the scene.

Mayor Madeline Rogero also spoke Sunday afternoon: ‘Our hearts and prayers go out to the family.’

Jajuan’s cousin, Fulton football player Zaevion, was fatally shot December 17 while protecting friends from what officials believed was a gang-related shooting.

A 20-year-old suspect was arrested on a weapons charge shortly afterward.

In December, Obama praised Zaevion’s heroism in remarks on gun violence.

‘Zaevion Dobson died saving three friends from getting shot. He was a hero at 15. What’s our excuse for not acting?’ the president said in a Twitter post.

Obama has lobbied Congress unsuccessfully for tighter gun laws since the deadly mass shooting three years ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Source: The DailyMail

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