South Florida high school football player fatally shot after grandfather’s funeral

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Florida high school football player fatally shot after grandfather’s funeral

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A 15-year-old South Florida high school football player was fatally shot while attending his grandfather’s funeral, authorities said.

Terrance Jackson, who would have turned 16 on Wednesday, died shortly after delivering a eulogy at Saturday's funeral in Riviera Beach, WPEC reported.

Jackson and 47-year-old Royce Freeman were fatally shot near Victory City Church after the funeral ended, WPTV reported. Jackson, a 10th grader, was a defensive end for the Deerfield Beach High School football team, according to WSVN.

The shooting erupted during a family fight, Riviera Beach police spokeswoman AJ Walker told CBS News.

“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.

A third victim, Shanita Miller, 30, was shot and taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to WPTV.

Terrance Jackson's mother, Tronicia Jackson, said her son was targeted by distant family members who had threatened him a day earlier, WSVN reported.

“My baby didn’t do anything. He never hung out on the street. He never ran with the crowd,” Tronicia Jackson told the television station. “My baby played football, went to school and played video games all the time. He was never that type of kid. All he kept talking about last week was, ‘Coach is talking to a lot of students with other coaches from other colleges. Maybe this week will be my week to get an offer.'”

Jackson skipped a team trip to several colleges so he could attend the funeral, Deerfield Beach head football coach Jevon Glenn told the Sun-Sentinel.

“We’re on college tours. I’m in Auburn (Alabama) with 20 kids. He stayed to go to the funeral,” Jevon Glenn told the newspaper in a telephone interview. “The kids are heartbroken.”

Deerfield players are "still grieving" the death of teammate Bryce Gowdy in late December, Glenn told the Sun-Sentinel.

Victory City Church's senior pastor, Tywuante D. Lupoe, said in a video address on Facebook that the attack was "across" from the church and only involved people who attended the funeral.

“A fight broke out with the family and in the midst of that fight a shooting occurred, and unfortunately there was loss of life,” Lupoe said. “This was not a shooting that occurred inside the church.”

Lupoe told NBC News that church officials were "very well aware of the potential of violence" and had armed security assigned to the funeral. The shooting occurred after the security team left, Lupoe said

According to police, 13 shots were fired during the incident.

Terrance Jackson's family has started a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses.