SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A Sacramento family is heartbroken wondering why someone would want to shoot and kill their loved one who was just 15 years old.
Dozens of candles were burning bright Sunday evening for the young man called “Zay.” His family said he was a great kid with a bright smile and a bright future ahead of him.
“He was a wonderful kid,” said Sammy Jordan, Zay’s father.
“I called him my little Romeo,” said Diane Queen, grandmother.
That little Romeo was 15-year-old Dezay Richardson. He was a kid with a great smile who loved basketball, was a straight-A student and was taken too soon from his parents and family.
“He got dropped off at Scandia. He was walking home, just around the corner, and he’s no longer with us,” Jordan said.
The Sacrament County Sheriff’s Department said that two teens were shot near Renick way in North Highlands on Saturday night. Richardson was pronounced dead at the scene and the other was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Richardson’s grandmother heard about the shooting but had no idea it was her grandson.
“And all I could do is say, ‘Oh lord, poor baby,’ and then one of his friends came and told me it was him,” Queen said.
As investigators continue to look into how and why this shooting happened, Sacramento youth activist Berry Accius said sometimes these situations can start from social media.
“A 15-year-old is dead. I can’t take that lightly and I won’t make this my normal,” he said.
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Accius said he hopes people keep a closer eye on what the youth are saying online before something gets to this level.
“If someone was intervening in the moments, whether it’s a good friend, whether it’s parents that are, you know, watching and paying attention to their social media, that we could have a young man living,” he said.
This family is looking for answers as to why their loved one isn’t living anymore, and they have a message for everyone so no other family feels their pain.
“Stop shooting our future down. It’s time we come together and unite as a people, pool our resources together and do the right thing,” Jordan said.
“All I ask, in Jesus’ name, is that these kids stop fighting,” Queen said.
The sheriff’s office said there have been 3 juvenile homicides in 2020…but at this time the office can’t tell me if they were all shootings. Sacramento police said there were four juvenile homicides in 2020 and all of them were shootings.