Prosecutors say that a volunteer youth football coach in St. Louis was shot in the back in front of his 9- and 10-year-old players on Tuesday. The alleged shooter, a disgruntled father, was reportedly upset about his son’s playing time.
During a practice session this week, Coach Shaquille Latimore was shot four times by Daryl Clemmons following a weeks-long feud that had escalated.
Latimore recounted that he didn’t notice Clemmons had a gun until it was too late. He said he attempted to escape, but Clemmons shot him in the back, causing him to fall, and he was later shot again multiple times, as reported by the New York Times.
Clemmons, who had previously coached the same team before Latimore took over, reportedly taunted Latimore while he was on the ground after the shooting before bystanders intervened. “After he shot me,” Latimore said, “he was like … ‘I told you I was going to pop your [expletive].’
Latimore, 30, told authorities that Clemmons was angry with him for not allowing Clemmons’ son to start in the games, as stated in a probable cause statement from the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office.
Clemmons has been charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action. Latimore serves as an assistant coach for the St. Louis BadBoyz, a recreational team for 9- and 10-year-olds, alongside his cousin. He initially arrived at the field armed due to concerns about the area but handed the weapon to another adult before practice began.
“I gave my gun to someone else to hold. I didn’t want [Clemmons] to feel threatened,” Latimore reportedly said. He added that if he had the gun on him, “I would’ve defended myself.”
The coach, who is married and has five children, was hospitalized for treatment and is currently in stable condition after the shooting. The victim’s mother, SeMiko Latimore, described the incident as “senseless.”
She expressed her dismay, emphasizing the role of coaches in guiding children away from the streets and teaching them valuable life lessons. She added that the incident is likely to traumatize the kids who witnessed their coach being shot.