Two teenagers have been arrested in South Carolina for shooting dead a Georgia high school football star in a mall parking lot while he was on a date with his girlfriend.
Elijah DeWitt, 18, was shot dead in the parking lot of a Dave & Buster’s outside of the Sugarloaf Mills Mall in Lawrenceville on October 5 after having an altercation with two suspects. Police arrested Kemare Bryan, 18, and Chandler Richardson, 19, in South Carolina shortly after the shooting. The two are both from Lawrenceville.
Elijah DeWitt was a star receiver for Jefferson High School. He was found dead around 8 p.m. after police rushed to the scene.
“The Jefferson High School Football program is heartbroken as we mourn the loss of one of our own, Elijah DeWitt,” the team said.
“The DeWitt family is in our thoughts and prayers. We appreciate your understanding as we respect the family’s privacy during this time.”
DeWitt’s mother told local media a botched robbery attempt led to her son’s shooting.
Roughly a hundred people turned out tonight for a candlelight vigil for 18-year-old Elijah DeWitt. He was murdered Wednesday night in the parking lot of a Metro-Atlanta mall. The star high school football player wanted to play in college. @FOX5Atlanta pic.twitter.com/TQQLu3nV24— Tyler Fingert (@TylerFingert) October 9, 2022
“I want him to be remembered as a fierce competitor with a very large heart,” Dawn DeWitt said, calling the death of her son “definitely the worst day of my life.”
“His life just came completely to a screeching halt in seconds,” she said.
His father, Craig DeWitt, refused to let hate rule and said he forgave the two murder suspects.
“Forgiveness is for the forgiver. We don’t want the hate in this household,” he said.
“Detectives are still working to investigate the motive behind this incident, it appears that the suspects and the victim were familiar with each other and when they encountered each other in the parking lot, an altercation took place and then the shooting,” Gwinnett Police Department said in a statement.
“I was at Dave & Buster’s, I heard people screaming, I look towards my right, and I see someone lay down,” a person said on a 911 call.
“I’ve never seen anything like this, man.”
According to Fox5:
Sunday night, roughly a hundred friends, family and members of the community came out for a candlelight vigil. People shared stories as they came together to mourn this loss.
“If you could have a tragedy like this somewhere, I’d say this is it, come here to have that one because it has just been an amazing community,” Craig said.
Visitation will be held at Jefferson Church from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Tuesday. The church is located at 267 Mahaffey Street in Jefferson.
Wednesday at 6 p.m., a funeral service will be held at the arena at Jefferson High School. That is located at 575 Washington Street in Jefferson.
The Jefferson High School Football program is heartbroken as we mourn the loss of one of our own, Elijah DeWitt. The DeWitt family is in our thoughts and prayers. We appreciate your understanding as we respect the family’s privacy during this time. pic.twitter.com/9q2l6nujPA— Jefferson 🏈 Football #RIP2️⃣ (@JeffersonFootba) October 6, 2022