I just wanted to share with you a story of a young man, with a promising future, who died a hero (IMO).
15-year-old Zaevion "Zae" Dobson was killed when he threw himself on top of three girls to shield them from shooters
"Zae" Dobson grew up in the Lonsdale community and attended Fulton High School in Knoxville TN in an area that would be considered economically
disadvantaged. Lonsdale is known for it's gang activity. The Dobson's had managed to keep their young boys out of that..."lifestyle". Zae had dreams
for his older brother Zack. He wished that one day, Zack, would attend the University of Oregon and becoming an Oregon Duck.
See, Zack and "Zae" lived for football.
"That's what he did. He came home from school did his homework, watched film, watched documentaries of it, players. That's what he loved -
football," said Zack.
I can relate. My oldest nephew has the same routine. Homework, practice, documentaries, film, old games, dreams of playing for the University of
Their football coach described young Zae as a "natural born leader".
"He's a sophomore only and already successful already leading a life that's contagious that people follow. So very liked by his peers and his
teachers and his teammates. And that makes him successful," said Black.
Zae, his brother, and some friends were on their porch on Thursday night celebrating the upcoming holiday and school break.
They had no idea that a short distance away a woman, inside her home, had been shot in the back by gunfire from the street. A child was home at the
time but, was not harmed.
A few hours later, that woman's son, Brandon Perry, gathered some "friends" and drove to Lonsdale and commenced to randomly shooting...into a group of
people sitting on a porch. The group was Zack, Zae, and their friends.
Zae lept up and jumped onto the three girls in the group to shield them from the bullets. He was successful, as he was in so many other areas of his
life. He saved them. Not one of the girls were injured.
Zae, however, was killed.
Brandon then drove away. About 4 hours later reports came in of shooting at an apartment complex and a vehicle that had crashed into the
Brandon was discovered in the vehicle with multiple gunshot wounds, taken to UT medical center, and died a few hours later.
The chief of police has indicated that this all began with an original act of gang violence.
Brandon Perry has a criminal history that includes several drug related offenses, unlawful possession of a weapon and alteration of distinguishing
numbers. Police at the time of the incident in March 2014 say he filed the serial numbers off of a handgun.
One of the two "friends" with Perry,
Christopher Bassett, 20, has been charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and violation of probation. More charges are
pending. He is being held without bond.
Convicted felon at age 20!
The other male was released after questioning.
It is such a shame.
You can try to protect your children, lead them down a path that is good, and the evil in the world will find you.
Look at the role models that our youth have today. Gang members are prevalent in these inner city societies and the lifestyle looks appealing to some
with it's lure of guns, cash, seemingly limitless power and intimidation.
The Dobson's hoped to have a "way out". With over 30 active gangs in Knoxville, their odds weren't great. They certainly were on the right path.
Now, some people disagree with the current gun laws. Criminals and gang members don't care about any laws much less the one's about legal gun
ownership. These folks (20 year old convicted felons, some younger) would NEVER be able to legally own a gun anyway, under what some see as our "not
strict enough" gun laws, and THAT wouldn't stop them.
Some folks think that the path to professional football is a perverse and overpaid profession. Well, maybe so but, some youth see this as an escape. A
road that doesn't lead to prison. (well there are exceptions...Michael Vick, etc)
My nephews were in State custody for more than 6 months before I adopted them. Having been in custody they have access to scholarships that other
children don't. They can go to any school, 4 years, in Tennessee (that will accept them). These are taxpayer funded scholarships.
We don't live in the inner city but, they want out. Opportunity, where we live, is limited unless...A. you have an education or B. you KNOW somebody
(nepotism is rampant) or C. you want to work at a factory and retire from it. I have tried to teach them to take advantage of what they have been
given. Go to school (university) for football but, GET AN EDUCATION while you are there. About 4 % of high schoolers go on to play football in college
regularly AND less than 7 % get drafted and then less than 2 % go on to be starters or even play in the NFL.
I just wanted to share. It broke my heart and warmed my heart at the same time that there are still good kids out there! Unfortunately, one of them is
not here anymore.
Thanks for the forum for my ramble/rant!
I hope I posted in the right place! Apologies if I did not.
edit on 19-12-2015 by TNMockingbird because: see above