Fifteen-year-old high school football player Zaevion Dobson was shot and killed as he shielded three girls from gunfire during a shooting in Knoxville, Tenn. on Thursday evening.
Dobson, a sophomore at Fulton High School in Knoxville, was struck after he jumped on top of three girls to protect them from the shooters. The girls were not hurt.
Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch said he believed the shootings to be gang-related, but that there did not appear to be a motive to target Dobson. Dobson was killed after shooters drove into his neighborhood and “randomly fired multiple times into a crowd,” according to police. The events are believed to have begun when the mother of one of the shooters, 23-year-old Brandon Perry, was shot inside her apartment. Her injuries were not believed to be fatal.
According to police, Perry and several other men then drove to Dobson’s neighborhood and opened fire.
Perry was shot later in the night after crashing his car into another apartment building and died of his wounds Friday morning. Two other men fled from the crash and were arrested, and one was released after questioning.