In a totally harrowing story from Knoxville, Tennessee, a high school football player was shot and killed while shielding three girls from gunfire, according to the AP.

Zaevion Dobson, 15, was reportedly an innocent bystander in a shooting Knoxville police say was “gang-related.”

The shooter, Brandon Perry, reportedly crashed his car into an apartment and was shot. He died Friday morning. Two other suspects were arrested, though one was released after being question, according to the AP.

The quotes here are devastating.

From the AP, this is what Dobson’s brother Zach told WBIR-TV:

“Why would you shoot at random bystanders for nothing? We were just sitting there chilling,” Dobson said. “Zae, he was an awesome kid, awesome brother. Just know that I miss him. I miss my brother.”

Football coach Rob Black, who called Dobson “a fine young man.”

“Only a sophomore, but a very contagious young man who was very liked by his peers and his teachers,” Black said. “Going to be a tough time as we leave from here and go meet with our football players.”

 And here’s Knoxville mayor Medline Rogero.

“He was really one of our success stories,” Rogero said. “Involved in sports, a mentee of one of our organizations in town. But still he falls victim to this.”

It sounds like Zaevion was a good kid, and his death was apparently pretty heroic, but that’s really beside the point. The bottom line is that he did not deserve to die at age 15.

With all the attention paid recently to mass shootings and random acts of violence, we shouldn’t forget that this kind of violence tragically happens every day in America and has ultimate consequences for many good people like Zaevion and others who are live in areas beleaguered by gun violence.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.