Jaylon McKenzie, an eighth-grade football phenom from Mason-Clark Middle School, was shot and killed. According to a report from CNN, McKenzie was struck by a stray bullet while attending a part on Saturday, May 4 in Illinois.
Along with Jaylon, an unnamed 15-year-old was struck.
“School District 189 has learned that a few of our students were shot at a house party in Venice, IL at some point Saturday night,” a statement from the school district read. “Few details are clear at this point. We do know that our youth, families and school staff have dealt with a number of tragedies and incidents of violence this year. We request space and time for them to appropriately grieve and come to terms with this latest impact of violence.”
His mother was struggling with the devastating news.
“It’s very hard,” she said. “It’s still like a bad dream, like I’m gonna wake up in the morning and my baby’s gonna be smiling at me asking for something to eat like he always does,” his mother said.
Jaylon was shot around 11:40 p.m. local time and his mother was informed of the news at approximately midnight.
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love,” Illinois state representative LaToya Greenwood read.”
Our deepest condolences are with Jaylon’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult and tragic time.