KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Authorities say a 12-year-old boy has been fatally shot in Knoxville hours after attending a basketball game to honor a cousin who had been shot to death.
Knoxville police said in a news release that Jajuan Hubert Latham died Saturday night of a gunshot wound to the head.
The boy was sitting in the back of his father’s vehicle when gunfire erupted at a gathering at a Knoxville park.
“The first thing I do is reach my son, and I just realize he’s not moving, so I’m like, ‘What’s going on, is he asleep?,’” said Hubert Latham, Jajuan’s father. “When I picked him up, that’s when I realized, what I seen, blood.”
He continued, “I knew he was going to pull through. It broke my heart 30 minutes later when they came out and told me my son was dead. The only thing that came to my mind was, who did this?”
Police Chief David Rausch pleaded for help Sunday in finding suspects.
The game organized earlier Saturday at Fulton High School by ex-University of Tennessee basketball player Bobby Maze encouraged Knoxville youth to halt violence.
Jajuan Latham’s 15-year-old cousin, Fulton football player Zaevion Dobson, was fatally shot Dec. 17 while protecting friends from what officials believed was a gang-related shooting.