A 15-year-old high school football player has been killed in a shootout in front of his parents at his grandfather’s funeral.
Terrance Jackson, a defensive end at Deerfield Beach High School, died in the shooting which broke out during a family feud, CBS Miami reports citing Riviera Beach police spokeswoman AJ Walker.
A 47-year-old Royce Freeman also died at the scene whilst another person received injuries that weren’t ruled to be life-threatening.
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Jackson was reportedly supposed to accompany 20 members of his team on a weekend bus trip to colleges, however, stayed behind to attend the funeral, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.
Jackson was shot after attending and speaking at his grandfather’s funeral the GoFundMe.com page set up to raise money for the teen’s funeral said.
“Sadly, TeeJay was targeted in the neck by one single shot,” organizer Carsandra Manning, Jackson’s aunt, wrote on the GoFundMe page that had raised just over $1,300 by early Monday.
Tronicia and Terrance Jackson Sr. told CBS Miami that they witnessed their son die.
“When I got there, I started taking his bow tie off and he was looking at me and I said, ‘Terrance, just breathe, okay?'” said Tronicia. “He shook his head. I said ‘mommy loves you, just listen to me. Don’t leave me OK? Just breathe, baby’ and he shook his head.”
So heartbroken! Love you T! Rest easy my boy 😢 pic.twitter.com/xNa7Nw0pk7— Coach Adam Bernard (@nopainostruggle) February 2, 2020
Terrance Jackson Sr also said: “At that moment, his whole life flashed in front of me. I can remember him being born, I was there. And to see him take his last breath… it’s just too much.”
Deerfield Beach coach Jevon Glenn was quoted by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel as saying: “The kids are heartbroken.”
Jackson’s death has left Tronica traumatized.
“My baby didn’t do anything. He never hung out on the street. He never ran with the crowd,” Tronica Jackson told WSVN-Ch. 7. “My baby played football, went to school and played video games all the time. He was never that type of kid.”
According to the Riviera Beach Police, the shooting happened outside the church Saturday shortly after 2:30 p.m.
“Our detectives have several leads on this shooting incident that left two people dead, including a juvenile, and they are vigorously working this case,” police spokesman A.J. Walker said in a news release.
Even though no arrests were made, investigators believed the shooting was not a random act of violence.
“While the motive for the shooting is still being investigated, it is believed it was a result of a dispute between relatives of the deceased whose funeral had been held,” Riviera Beach Police said in a statement.
The listening devices in the area that detect the sound of gunshots counted 13 rounds fired.
Pastor Tywuante D. Lupoe said in a video statement posted on Facebook that the church was “very aware” of the possibility of violence at the funeral because of a family dispute. He said armed security had been provided and a Riviera Beach police officer also was present.
“Riviera Beach Police need to take responsibility too,” he wrote on Facebook. “As a church who serves the community, we called and asked for their assistance before this tragedy took place. We informed them of the potential violence. Our tax dollars should ensure we get what we need in order for our citizens and families can be protected. If we request you be there be there….”