Zaevion Dobson was killed when he threw himself on top of three girls in order to protect them from a barrage of gun fire during a completely random gang shooting in Knoxville, Tennessee. The 15-year-old high school football star sacrificed his life for the lives of others – and is being called a true hero.
Zaevion “Zae” Dobson was a sophomore at Fulton High School in the northern part of Knoxville and according to an Associated Press report on December 18, Dobson, his brother Zack, and some friends were sitting on a porch on Thursday night celebrating the holidays when 23-year-old Brandon Perry and several other men drove to Dobson’s neighborhood and “randomly fired multiple times.”
According to Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch, the shooters picked a random group of young people as their target. As the gunfire erupted, Zaevion Dobson jumped on top of three girls in order to protect them from the bullets. The three girls lived. Dobson was the only one who was hit by the bullets.
Brandon Perry, who fled in a car and crashed it into an apartment building, was found by police officers. He had been shot multiple times in what is believed to be a gang-related shooting and died just a few hours later at the UT Medical Center.
Zack Dobson, Zaevion’s big brother, is still in disbelief about Thursday night’s tragic event:
“I’m shocked. I’m really just shocked. I cant believe it, cant get it across my head,” said Zack Dobson. “We were just sitting on the porch chillin’, and we see these random dudes walking up.”
“Why would you shoot at random bystanders for nothing? We were just sitting there chilling. Zae, he was an awesome kid, awesome brother. Just know that I miss him. I miss my brother.”
“He was laying there, and I just pick him up and put him in my arms. He was dead.”
Zack Dobson’s words about his brother are echoed by their coach, Rob Black, who organized a team meeting on Friday morning for teammates to be able to grieve and get support. While gathering around Zaevion’s locker in his honor, Black described “Zae as a natural born leader, who led others by example.”
Like Coach Black, Knoxville City Mayor Madeline Rogero described Zaevion Dobson as a young man who had a promising future: “He was really one of our success stories you know good family, involved in sports was a mentee in one of organizations in town, but still he falls victim to this,” said Rogero.
After his brother Zaevion “Zae” Dobson was killed sacrificing his life so others could live, Zack is left with grief and loss as he shares on his Twitter page: “All I can do is sit in this bed where he laid his head every night man life not gonna be the same without u @_zdobbs24 come back bruh.”