MIAMI — A 15-year-old is accused of fatally shooting a South Florida high school quarterback on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.
The teen, from Miami Gardens, was arrested on charges of manslaughter, possession of a firearm by a minor and improperly exhibiting a firearm in the shooting death of 17-year-old Mekhi Stevenson, the Miami Herald reported.
It is unclear whether the teen will be charged as an adult, according to the newspaper.
The shooting occurred Tuesday at about 1 p.m. EST at the North Miami home of Stevenson, who was a junior quarterback at North Miami High School, WSVN-TV reported.
According to the Miami-Dade County Police Department, Stevenson and his brother were inside a bedroom with four friends, including the suspect.
The 15-year-old produced a semiautomatic weapon and began pointing it at others in the room and at the bedroom walls, the Herald reported. He also reinserted the magazine into the gun, the Herald reported.
According to an arrest affidavit, the teen “continued to wave the firearm recklessly in different directions. He pointed the firearm at the victim and intentionally pulled the trigger,” WSVN reported.
Stevenson was struck in the torso, collapsed and died at the scene, WTVJ reported.
“I’m at a loss for words,” Sonya Stevenson, the victim’s mother, told the television station on Wednesday. “I’m speechless. I’m numb. I’m devastated.”
“He was a great kid. He was always smiling. Always joking and always laughing. I want him to be remembered for the bright, free-spirited kid that he was. Confident, humble, respectful.”
Mekhi Stevenson posted many of his game highlights and boosted his teammates on his social media platforms, according to the Herald.
“He was a charismatic man, just a goofy little kid, a typical teenager,” North Miami football coach Gerald Cox told the newspaper. “You know he’s a knucklehead, just like everybody else, but just like I love the rest of them, I love him, too.”
The quarterback played in seven games this year and took the Pioneers to the state playoffs, where they lost to Homestead Senior High School in the opening round, the Herald reported.
Cox told the newspaper that this was the third time in the past six months that a former or current player of his was a victim of a shooting. He said that two of them died and one survived.
“I don’t know what’s gonna happen next,” Cox told the Herald. “I don’t know anything. I haven’t even had a chance to even sit down and make this make sense right now.”
A neighbor of the Stevenson family said that Mekhi Stevenson was a “light to everyone’s life.”
“When you see a child so alive and smiling, I’m going like, ‘Why?’” Madame Holmes told WFOR-TV. “I’m sorry, I got tired of this type of grieving.”
A GoFundMe page has been started to pay for funeral expenses and to help the Stevenson family.
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