Jaylon McKenzie had a very bright future ahead of. At only 14-years-old, the 8th grade football phenom already had offers from the University of Missouri and the University of Illinois but Saturday night it all came to a tragic end.
Jaylon was shot and killed at a party on Saturday night, according to his mother.
Illinois State Police reported to a disturbance and shots being fired at a party around 11:40PM on Saturday night. On their arrival they found Jaylen and a 15-year-old girl suffering from gunshot wounds. They were both taken to the hospital where Jaylon died a short while later while the girl remains in critical condition.
The East St. Louis School District where Jaylon attended school commented about some of its students being shot at the party.
“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. 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,” the school district said in a statement.
Jaylon’s mother, Sukeena Gunner, told a news agency that Jaylon does not usually attend parties and had only stop at this specific party to pick up something from a friend.
“They stopped by the party, not with any intentions to staying long. They were there to pick up something from a friend,” she said.
She says she and her family are having a difficult time comprehending that Jaylon’s life and all his dreams were snuffed out.
“It’s very hard. 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,” she said.