According to classmates of 14-year-old Paul Sampleton Jr., the out-going teen was a collector and trader of high-end and high priced shoes, especially Jordans, often being the first person to have them. And that’s probably why someone wanted him dead.
Sampleton was tied up in his Gwinnett County, Georgia home and shot to death Wednesday afternoon, the last day of classes before winter break. His father found him in the kitchen at approximately 12:00 p.m.
“He was smiling, listening to music,” Abiodun Abiodun, 15, said. “He got on his bus, I got on mine. We were all happy.”
Within hours, Paul would be found dead, the victim of a homicide that Gwinnett County believe started as a robbery at the teen’s home. Investigators did not release information regarding what they believe was stolen.
Police quickly ruled out suicide or an accidental shooting, calling Paul’s death a homicide.
Paul played on the freshman football team for most of the season and played baseball, according to his friends. But he had one hobby that made him stand out from others.
“He did love his shoes,” Abiodun said. “The new Jordans and Nikes that came out, Paul was always the first to get them.”
Classmates speculated that Paul’s love of shoes could have led to his death. But investigators, who remained at the crime scene Thursday, declined to release details about a motive or any suspects. Police did not say whether or not they believe Paul was specifically targeted.