Community members gathered together at a Greenville County, S.C. little league football game Thursday night to pay tribute to 15-year-old boy who was shot to death.
15-year-old Trayvon Dodd was shot to death on Wednesday, September 11 while visiting his 12-year-old friend. The 12-year-old shot Dodd outside a home at 1 Woodleigh Drive.
Trayvon’s grandmother, Colene Garcia, spoke to News 4 before the ceremony.
“It’s been heartbreaking, devastating,” she said. “We couldn’t believe someone would want to do that to him because of the child he was. He was so humble and nice and sweet.”
The 12-year-old was charged with involuntary manslaughter. He has been released into the custody of his parents. It is unknown how the 12-year-old obtained the gun.
The Put Down the Guns Young People organization was present at the little league game on Thursday. They’re message was a simple one to parents: “Keep guns out of the hands of your kids.”
“That child should not have had any way of getting to that gun,” Jack Logan, president of Put Down the Guns Young People said. “If they would have had that gun locked, Trayvon Dodd would still be living today.”
The organization presented a football to Trayvon’s family and the crowd had a moment of silence. Garcia, still distraught over her grandson’s death, still has a lot of questions.
“I don’t understand why a 12-year-old would have a gun,” Garcia said. “I helped raise my grandson and we didn’t raise him around guns. We wouldn’t even let him play with toy guns.”
Detective say it appears Trayvon was peering through a glass door into his friend’s house when the fatal shot was fired.
Approximately every year 1,500 children die from guns while many more are seriously injured, according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Half of all unintentional deaths among children younger than 18 years of age occur at home, while almost half occur in the home of a friend or relative.
The American Academy Pediatrics believes if people choose to have guns in their homes, it is important to keep them unloaded and locked, with the ammunition stored and locked in a separate location.
Sources: News 4, Daily Mail, Nationwide Children’s Hospital