High School football player, 15, sacrifices own life to protect friends in shooting

Image: screengrab KLFY

A high school sophomore laid down his own life to protect others in a shooting spree in Tennessee, police said.

Zaevion Dobson, 15, was killed reportedly shielding three girls from gunfire as several men began the random shootings on Thursday, said Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch.

The senseless violence began with Lisa Perry, 46, who was in her apartment when she was shot, according to the New York Post. Several men, including Perry’s 23-year-old son Brandon, then drove to Dobson’s neighborhood where they “randomly fired multiple times,” according to Rausch.

Perry later died from injuries after being shot and driving his car into an apartment, and two other men fleeing the scene were arrested, according to the Post.

Dobson’s brother Zach was with the group sitting on a porch when the men had approached. “Why would you shoot at random bystanders for nothing? We were just sitting there chilling,” Dobson told WBIR TV. “Zae, he was an awesome kid, awesome brother. Just know that I miss him. I miss my brother.”

Though investigators think the shootings were gang-related, the police chief saw no motive in targeting the high school football player, according to the Post.

“Unfortunately, they picked a random group of young men and women who were just hanging out and trying to prepare to celebrate the holiday,”said Rausch.

Fulton High School football coach, Rob Black, said Dobson was “only a sophomore, but a very contagious young man who was very well liked by his peers and teachers,” according to KLFY.

“These cowardly and senseless acts of violence must stop,” Police Chief Rausch said. “We should be preparing to celebrate the Christmas holiday, but now we have two men who are dead.”

The girls Dobson protected were not injured, and have much to be thankful for.



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