Florida Youth Football Coach Shot 10 Times Shielding Players From Drive-By, 13-Year-Old Boy Killed

A Jacksonville, Florida, youth football coach was shot at least 10 times while trying to shield his players from a drive-by shooting that killed a 13-year-old boy according to reports. The coach’s attorney, John Philips, said his client is still in the hospital.

Why Was Youth Football Coach Shot 10 Times?

Phillips says his 21-year-old client, who hasn’t been named, was driving some players home from a tryout at the Legends Center and Gymnasium. A vehicle pulled up to the intersection of Moncrief Road West and New Kings Road in Jacksonville and someone inside opened fire on the SUV with the coach and young kids inside.

The attorney says his clients suffered the gunshot wounds because he was shielding the kids from the cascade of bullets.

Why Was 13-Year-Old Prince Holland Murdered?

One of the children, 13-year-old Prince Holland, was killed, and an 11-year-old boy was injured in the shooting but is expected to recover.

The two other boys in the coach’s SUV, ages 14 and 15, were unharmed.

Guns are are the leading cause of death among children and teens in the U.S, and an average of 3,540 children and teens die by guns annually according to EveryStat.org. 60% of the deaths are homicides, and Black children and teens are 14 times more likely than their white peers to die by gun homicide.

Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters made an impassioned pledge to pursue the case until the assailants responsible are brought to justice.

“This grief has emboldened us and hardened our resolve,” Waters during a press conference on the steps of the Police Memorial Building. “To those responsible for this terrible act, know this: We will not rest, we will not tire, we will not waver.”

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry echoed the same sentiments.

“We will not rest until the people responsible are held accountable,” Curry said.

The more time that elapses after a crime the harder it is to solve.

The A&E documentary/news magazine television series “The First 48” details the importance of the first 48 hours in any homicide investigation. Usually investigators need to secure a solid lead or tip during that time frame. If not, the chances of the case being solved drops dramatically.

The series’ executive producer, Alexis Robie, described on the series’ blog in 2017 how in his years producing the show he’s seen how the first 48 hours are the most important.

“Most, if not all, homicide detectives and experts would tell you that if you can’t find a lead within the first 48 hours, the chance of solving the case decreases dramatically. That’s when people’s memories are best. That’s when you have the opportunity of following the clues from clue to clue. As time goes on, evidence gets spoiled, witnesses disappear, and surveillance video is copied over.”

The police in Jacksonville are offering a reward totaling $14,000 for information leading to an arrest.

Prince Holland Had Gridiron Dreams 

Prince Holland was the youngest of eight kids and had dreams of playing higher level football.

“He went to church every Sunday. He played sports. He took the other kids to play sports so they wouldn’t be out here doing drugs, smoking and being in gangs,” his mother, Chantel Brown, told the station News4Jax.

Another life taken too soon because of senseless gun violence.

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