He was a star student and athlete,now he is another innocent casualty of the gang violence plaguing our streets
With his mother serving a second tour of duty in Iraq, 17-year old Los Angeles High School football star Jamiel Shaw Jr. was doing everything in his life to make her proud before he was fatally gunned down by male Hispanic gang members just minutes away from his 5th Ave. home in West Los Angeles early Sunday evening on March 2nd.
As the City planned an emergency meeting at George Washington Carver Middle School on Tuesday, March 4 to discuss solutions to the increasing shooting deaths in the Newton police region, the senseless murder of Shaw delivered yet another blow that also left the specter of ethnic tensions between Blacks and Hispanics.
Shaw was a young Black teenager who was known for regularly attending church and had emerged as a rising football star for his high school team, gaining attention from prestigious academic institutions such as Stanford and Rutgers, according his coach Hardy Williams.
As he walked home from the local mall at approximately 8 p.m. on that tragic evening, he was on his cell phone with his girl friend Chrystale Miles when the white compact sedan pulled along side him. He was asked what “set” he was from and before he could answer, he was shot multiple times. The suspects then got out of the vehicle and shot him again.
Shaw was not a gang member according to relatives and friends. LAPD spokesman Lee Sands told the Sentinel this week that the department is investigating the shooting death as a random act of gang violence.
LAUSD Board Member Marguerite P. LaMotte, in whose district Jameil Shaw resides, said, “The death of this young man is another example of the senseless violence that permeates our community. My sincere sympathies are extended to his family, friends and fellow L.A. High School students. I pray that young people continue to reject violence as a way of life and focus on positive habits, a love for learning and constructive activities that can open up a world of meaningful possibilities. I am hoping to convene a meeting with law enforcement agencies (including school police) and community violence prevention organizations to draft a plan to address the youth violence in our community. Unless people are willing to come forth and report incidents of violence, these killings will continue. Anyone who witnessed the shooting or has any information should contact the LAPD.”
Meanwhile, the slain teen’s father, Jamiel Shaw Sr. is pleading with the community and law enforcement to find the individuals responsible for the death of his son, whom he hailed “as the greatest kid ever.”
Shaw Sr. held a photograph of his son as tears streamed down his face. His modest home is filled with trophies, plaques and mementos of his son’s athletic accomplishments.
Shaw Jr. rushed for over 1,000 yards during his junior season at L.A. High and scored 14 touchdowns. He was selected MVP of the Southern League and earned All-City honors.
His exploits on the football field had led many to believe that he was set to earn a scholarship to attend college and continue his athletic career.
Now those hopes are dashed. When his mother Anita received the phone call that is every parent’s worst nightmare, she cried and begged for the bad news to not be about her son.
She was granted emergency leave from the Army to return to the Southland to help make funeral arrangements for him.
Ironically, Mrs. Shaw, who is an Army Sergeant and serving in one of the most violent regions of the world to protect America’s freedom, was powerless when America could not protect her son.
Services for Shaw Jr. were pending at press time.
Speak out! Do you feel the ethnic tention between Black and Hispanic street gangs is spilling over into the households of regular Black and Hispanic citizens?