The 12-year-old cousin of a teenager killed by gunfire in December was fatally shot on Saturday at a Knoxville, Tennessee park.
Jajuan Hubert Latham, 12, was in the backseat of his father's parked SUV when he was shot in the head Saturday night, Knoxville police said. His father took him to an emergency room, and he later died from his injuries.
Jajuan was the cousin of 15-year-old Zaevion Dobson, who was fatally shot in Knoxville in December. Police believe both shootings were the work of gang members.
Dobson was hailed as a hero for shielding three girls from random gunfire, and his death sparked national outrage — including from President Obama — over gun violence.
On Saturday, Jajuan and his father had attended a basketball game at Dobson's former high school in honor of the teen and to encourage youth to stand against violence, the Associated Press reported.
They later went to the park, where police said shooting broke out between people attending a party and two vehicles driving by.
Shell casings from various guns were recovered from the scene, and police said they were "vigorously" investigating based on witness statements and crime scene evidence.
On Sunday, Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch spoke with community leaders and pastors at a press conference.
"This has got to stop," Rausch said, growing visibly emotional. "This is a second innocent young person in our community who has had their life ended by senseless violence, by cowards. This has got to end."
Hubert Latham, Jajuan's father, told WATE that they had driven to the park to pick up his son's friends. They had only been at the park for two or three minutes when gunshots rang out.
"I reached for my son, and I just realized he wasn't moving," Latham said.
"They took my son's life. I just want justice."
Claudia Koerner is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Claudia Koerner at email@example.com.
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