Knoxville: Authorities said a 12-year-old boy was killed in a drive-by shooting Saturday at a Knoxville park hours after attending a basketball game to honor a 15-year-old cousin who died while shielding friends in a December shooting that drew attention from President Barack Obama.
Jajuan Hubert Latham died of a gunshot wound to the head, Knoxville police said yesterday in a news release.
He was in the back of his father's parked vehicle when shooting erupted between park attendees and occupants of two passing vehicles, the release said.
Hubert Latham, Jajuan's father, told WATE-TV that the pair attended a game earlier Saturday at Fulton High School organized by former University of Tennessee basketball player Bobby Maze that encouraged Knoxville youth to halt violence.
Police Chief David Rausch, along with community pastors and other leaders, held a news conference yesterday pleading for help in finding suspects.
"If you know who did this, tell us," Rausch said.
Jajuan Latham's cousin, Fulton football player Zaevion Dobson, was fatally shot December 17 while protecting friends from what officials believed was a gang-related shooting. A 20-year-old suspect was arrested on a weapons charge shortly afterward.
In December, Obama praised Dobson's heroism in remarks on gun violence.
"Zaevion Dobson died saving three friends from getting shot. He was a hero at 15. What's our excuse for not acting?" the president said in a Twitter post.
Obama has lobbied Congress unsuccessfully for tighter gun laws since the deadly mass shooting three years ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.