Football

Tenn. high school football player killed while shielding 3 girls from gunfire, police say

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A 15-year-old high school football player was killed while trying to protect other people from gunfire during a “senseless act of violence,” authorities said.

Zaevion Dobson was with a group of people Thursday night in Knoxville when several men showed up and began randomly shooting, Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch said.

Dobson, called “Zae” by friends and family, jumped on top of three girls to protect them from the gunfire. He was the only one hit, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“I’m shocked. I’m really just shocked,” said Zaevion’s brother, Zack Dobson. “We were just sitting on the porch chilling, and we see these random dudes walking up.

“Why would you shoot at random bystanders,” Zack Dobson said “For nothing. … Zae, he was an awesome kid brother, awesome brother. Just know that I miss him. I miss my brother.”

According to police, Dobson’s death was connected to two other shootings overnight.

Lisa Perry, 46, was shot a number of times at her home in East Knoxville, police said. She was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Rausch said Perry’s 23-year-old son, Brandon Perry, and several other men then drove to the neighborhood where Dobson lived and “randomly fired multiple times.”

Brandon Perry was later found to have been shot after he crashed a car into another apartment. He died from his injuries Friday morning. Two other men who fled from the crash were arrested, though one was later released after being questioned.

The other, Christopher D. Bassett, 20, was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and violation of probation. He is being held without bond.

“These cowardly and senseless acts of violence must stop,” Rausch said. “We should be preparing to celebrate the Christmas holiday, but now we have two men who are dead.”

Zaevion Dobson, a sophomore, played football at Fulton High School.

“He was really one of our success stories,” said Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero. “Involved in sports, a mentee of one of our organizations in town. But still he falls victim to this.”

Fulton football coach Rob Black described Dobson as a fine young man.

“Only a sophomore, but a very contagious young man who was very liked by his peers and his teachers,” Black said. “Going to be a tough time as we leave from here and go meet with our football players.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

21 comments
campbelltarget
campbelltarget

It could be that one of the girl's relatives was involved in the Perry shooting and the hot head son wanted revenge.  The son goes to this house were he thinks the person shot his moms lives or is hanging out and starts shooting at anybody and everybody.  Sounds like a retaliation shooting, but the football player was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

mmurderface
mmurderface

Something doesn't make sense and we are not being told the whole story. So, it's random, but this young man just happens to be outside the house of the gangbangers mother?? What are the odds of that??

I call BS, they knew each other... Somehow.

lswaggerty571
lswaggerty571

@mmurderface He was not  at the mother's home. He was in a  different part of town. The shooter went to the victim's neighborhood and randomly shot at them.

mmurderface
mmurderface

Honestly, are you stupid or illiterate?

Kid....was hanging out and shot in Knoxville

Mother... LIVES IN and was SHOT in Knoxville

I guess you suck as math too and can't put "2 and 2 together"

LordLindley
LordLindley

Is this 'black' gang warfare if all these shootings are related. It sounds like some African tribal killings from Idi Amins days or even Mugabe? Why do black Americans attack/kill each other all the time?

PRIVATE ONE
PRIVATE ONE

Even a mom and pop's shop will put your "too much integrity. and concern for other people." and self entitlement in jeopardy. I can almost hear your head rattle while your are reading this.

Good WORK works. Other than that, it will be another JAMES TOWN.

lol.

But, oh well, you are entitled to say whatever you want.

You are welcome.

YOU ARE PROTECTED BY OUR CONSTITUTION.

Lol.

all these comments in the Sports section.

Lol.

y'all being good sports.

lol.

Now, suck it up ppl.

Don_In_Odessa
Don_In_Odessa

Can't be true. The shooters weren't white policemen.
 Maybe they were white Christian extremists. The article doesn't say. Wonder why...

LordLindley
LordLindley

@Don_In_Odessa Because it was the normal black killing black drive by in retaliation of this gang doing something earlier. African tribe mentality? and they want 'rights & respect'?  Try behaving as humans first!

Noncommunist
Noncommunist

And you are a racist but only in a white tribalist sort of way since you most likely immigrated from the tribal clans of Europe.....

JimHeffner
JimHeffner

Sometimes my faith in mankind is validated.  Stepping in the way of danger to protect others is the  definition of hero.

PRIVATE ONE
PRIVATE ONE

Blah,blah, kiss, kiss,I heard it through the grapevine

I heard all my wisdom through the grapevine, blah, blah, spank, spank, blah, blah, pew! pew! blah, blah.... Time out!

I AM OUT OF BULLIES.

lol.

Ignorance is a bliss.

Would you rather be living here in the US or not?

Chew on ppl. Chew on.

History is read in a reputable HISTORY book. Not heard from the grapevine.

Now, suck it up.

sta777ic
sta777ic

Senseless act of violence on a bright young man. My heart goes out to the family and friends whom were affected. The gun issue is a lot deeper than just blaming the NRA. People want guns to protect themselves from threats which include the government. People want to get rid of guns because of stupid things like this happening. We need to look at the big picture and the root issue. Maybe if we were a country focused on peace instead of war, families instead of prisons, people would be more willing to let their guns go to better humanity as a whole. Another point to consider is the fact that these shooters probably have nothing to lose. Would it be the same if they could make a decent wages and the ability to follow their dreams? We box the lower class of society into a corner with no dreams, no hope and then we become surprised when they do stuff like this and give away their life. My guess is they already had bad life living paycheck to paycheck with no mentors, no future and the inability to follow their passion and dreams. Sad all around and our whole country loses. If you're going to blame the NRA, you might as well blame capitalism.

mike layton
mike layton

@sta777ic The policies of the NRA are the results of rampant capitalism that run the gun makers who control the leadership of the NRA.  Of course I blame capitalism AND the NRA both.   Both place profit above the lives of people.  


I say this as a person who worked at a high enough level in large corporation to see the daily policy of the heads of corporations placing profit above the safety and lives of their employees and their customers.   I was told several times that I would never make it anywhere in the business world because I had too much integrity. and concern for other people. 

AntonioAugustoCastillo
AntonioAugustoCastillo

And probably the Wise Men at the NRA proclame that if he had a gun he wouldn't be dead, right?

mmurderface
mmurderface

Well someone else did. How did the shooter get shot? And what was a "total random person" doing outside of the house of the shooters mother? Lol. I call BS. I guarantee drugs or some other nefarious events were at play here.

frenchyfroi22
frenchyfroi22

Where does the article say the 15 year old was at the shooter's mothers house???

"Lisa Perry, 46, was shot a number of times at her home in East Knoxville, police said. She was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Rausch said Perry’s 23-year-old son, Brandon Perry, and several other men then drove to the neighborhood where Dobson lived and “randomly fired multiple times.”