Rising Football Player Jaylon McKenzie Is Shot And Killed At Party
Unfortunately, a young footballer’s life was cut way too short this weekend at an Illinois party.
According to CNN, Jaylon McKenzie was an eighth-grader who had plans of going to the NFL, but this dream tragically ended when he was shot and killed at a party.
The 14-year-old was already getting college offers from University of Missouri and University of Illinois, and he was featured in Future Issue of Sports Illustrated back in 2018, along with five other teen sports stars. He had dreams of being a pro star in California, playing for either the Los Angeles Chargers or Rams.
However, this past Saturday, Jaylon attended a party near the Illinois-Missouri border and according to his mother, Sukeena Gunner, a fight broke out. Jaylon walked outside to exit the party, and that’s when a stray bullet hit him. Jaylon and a 15-year-old girl were rushed to the hospital where Jaylon died a short time after, according to police. Meanwhile, the girl is in critical condition.
Gunner told CNN that Jaylon usually didn’t attend parties because he was so busy playing football, basketball and running track during the summer. However, May was slower, so she said Jaylon had more free time. Gunner said Jaylon was with friends Saturday night.
“They stopped by the party, not with any intentions to staying long,” she said.
According to her, they were there to pick up something from a friend.
When Gunner received word that Jaylon got shot, she said she started screaming.
“I just prayed and asked the Lord not to take my baby,” she said. “It’s very hard. It’s still like a bad dream, like I’m gonna wake up in the morning and my baby’s gonna be smiling at me asking for something to eat like he always does.”
Politicians and athletes sent their condolences on social media. Illinois Rep. LaToya Greenwood wrote on Facebook;
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. #JaylonMcKenzie”
Former NFL wide receiver Earl Bennett also tweeted;
“My heart and prayers goes out to Jaylon McKenzie family and friends. Matthew 5:4.” The scripture he referenced reads: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”