11-year-old Davon McNeal was fatally shot on Saturday night after a group of five men opened fire in Southeast Washington D.C.
According to reports from FOX 5 DC, McNeal’s mother organized a “stop the violence” themed cookout for the neighborhood to celebrate the 4th of July. She’s also associated with the Violence Interrupter program, which works with individuals previously tied to gangs who try to prevent retaliations and create peace.
McNeal’s grandfather, John Ayala, posted to Facebook that Davon was headed to the cookout when he stopped by his aunt’s house to pick up a phone charger. Just a few moments after the child stepped out of the car to head inside the building, shots rang out, whick is when McNeal was struck.
“On June 29th we had plane tickets to go to Florida for two weeks,” Ayala wrote on social media. “We canceled the flight because of COVID-19. I was trying to keep him and my other grand kids safe from COVID-19 so we stayed home. If we had went on our trip he would still be here with us today.”
According to Ayala, McNeal would only talk about “getting in the NFL,” and had already been a football player for years. “We just had a real genuine kid who wanted to get out of the neighborhood. That’s all he said is, ‘I’m gonna make it,’” McNeal’s football coach, Kevin McGill, told the Washington Post.
The Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia is offering a reward upwards of $25,000 for information that could lead to an arrest in this case.