Tennessee High School Student Fatally Shot After Shielding Friends From Gunfire

Zaevion William Dobson, who’s described as a well liked student-athlete at Fulton High School in Knoxville, Tenn., was fatally shot after he shielded three girls from gunfire on Thursday night (Dec. 17).

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According to ABC News, the shooting was gang-related, and was part of an investigation that occurred at two separate locations. The first firing injured a 46-year-old woman named Lisa Perry, who was shot multiple times in her lower back inside of her apartment, but is expected to sustain the wounds. Reports state it was Perry’s son named Brandon Perry, 23, and “several other men” who are connected to Dobson’s killing after they drove to the 15-year-old’s neighborhood and “randomly fired multiple times.”

The three girls Dobson shielded from the gunfire were not injured. Brandon Perry was later found dead with a gunshot wound after he crashed his car into an apartment building. The two other suspects who attempted to flee the crash scene were arrested. After questioning, one male was released, while the other, identified as Christopher D. Bassett, 20, is being held without bond.

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“Unfortunately, they picked a random group of young men and women who were just hanging out and trying to celebrate the holiday,” Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch said at a news conference. Dobson’s coach, Rob Black, said “[He] was very well liked by his peers and his teachers. This was a fine, fine young man. …I want to try to continue to celebrate the life that he had [and] the impact he had on his peers.”

The investigation is still ongoing, but Rausch said there was no evident motive to pin Dobson as the target. “These cowardly and senseless acts of violence must stop,” he said. “We should be preparing to celebrate the Christmas holiday, but now we have two men who are dead.”