The Fulton High School community is mourning the loss of 15-year-old Zaevion William Dobson, who risked his life to save others when a gunman randomly opened fire, ABC News reports.
Tennessee’s Knoxville Police Department Chief David Rausch held an emotional news conference about the shooting. Brandon Perry, 23, was involved in a shooting around 7:18 p.m., police said. Perry allegedly shot his mother with a 10-year-old child in the home. His mother, Lisa, was hospitalized. At 10:12 p.m., while Dobson was hanging out with three of his friends, Perry and several others “randomly fired multiple times” at the teens. It was then that Dobson used his body to shield the bullets from hitting teenagers Kiara Rucker, Faith Gordan, and another unidentified girl.
Around 2 a.m., Perry was found injured from gunshots inside of a BMW that crashed into an elderly woman’s home. He died Friday morning. The passenger in the car, Christopher D. Bassett, 20, was seen fleeing the scene. He was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and violation of probation.
Dobson was remembered Friday evening in a memorial attended by hundreds. The sophomore played football for his high school and was also a mentee. Fulton High football coach Rob Black added that the teen was well liked by his peers and teachers.
The teens who Dobson saved attended the memorial and explained to reporters how he saved their lives.
Local 8 Now reports:
“If it wasn’t for Zaevion, if he would have just ran off the porch, we would have probably been shot,” Kiara Rucker said.
“By the time it was over, we had went inside,” Faith Gordan said. “I pulled on him and said ‘You can get up now’ but he didn’t get up. So I just went upstairs, and by the time I came back to make sure everything was real, (I saw) he was shot in the head.”
His classmates and brother Zack declared him a hero on social media.
The investigation is still ongoing. Police believe Perry’s actions were gang-related.