A Dallas teen celebrating his high school graduation was gunned down Sunday morning after he came to the defense of a female friend who was being harassed by cat-callers, police and witnesses say.
Ledajrick Cox, 18, died about 1:45 a.m., just hours after he graduated from high school, KDFW-TV reports. Two of his friends were also shot, but are expected to survive.
The shooting happened at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Irving, police say. Cox and his friends were in a car when they were shot at by a gunman in another vehicle, according to police.
A 17-year-old, Jeremiah Robinson, has been identified as the shooter and charged with murder, Irving Police announced Tuesday in a press release. Police said the driver and another person in the car have also been identified by detectives, but it is not clear if they are facing charges.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Cox & His Friends Were Followed by the Shooter After Trying to Leave the 7-Eleven
Ledajrick Cox was fatally shot about 1:40 a.m. in the 3300 block of West Walnut Hill Lane, the Irving Police Department said in a press release.
“Officers were dispatched to a shooting and found three adult victims who had sustained gunshot wounds, police said. “All three were transported to Parkland Hospital for treatment, but one victim, 18-year-old Ledajrick Rajae Cox, later died from his injuries.”
Police said one of the other victims remains hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries and the third was released from the hospital.
Police said Cox and his friends were at the 7-Eleven at Beltline Road and Walnut Hill Lane before the shooting.
“While there, some of the group had an argument with a male suspect in the parking lot,” police said. “Shortly thereafter, the group drove away from the store, but were followed out by the suspect vehicle. The suspects pulled alongside the victims’ car and shot multiple rounds into the car. The suspects then fled the scene.”
According to KDFW-TV, the argument occurred after Cox came to the defense of one of his female friends, who was being cat-called by the suspects. Cox was trying to diffuse the situation, the news station reports.
“Knowing him, he was trying to talk his way out of the situation,” Cox’s father, Reginald Henry, told KDFW. “You know, he was my only son. That was it. He has siblings and they look up to him and they were just so happy for him just to see him happy. It’s just over. It feels like a part of me is just hurt.”
Irving Police spokesman James McLellan told KXAS-TV the incident seemed to be a minor argument.
“Judging from what we’ve seen in the surveillance video, there’s nothing to indicate it would rise to the level to cause someone to get so angry they would do something like this,” McLellan told the news station. “There’s just no explanation for it.”
2. He Graduated From Carter High School in Dallas, Where He Was Prom King & Was Voted Most Popular by His Classmates
Cox graduated from Carter High School in Dallas on Saturday, just hours before he was shot and killed, KDFW-TV reports.
He was the prom and homecoming king his senior year, and was voted by his classmates as most popular, best looking and best all around, the news station reports.
“He just wanted to do the right thing, wanted to achieve, just tried so hard,” his father, Reginald Henry, told the news station. “I was real proud of him.”
Cox’s cousin, Corlandrion Dorsey, posted a photo from Cox’s graduation on Facebook and wrote, “Family I’m asking for your prayers right now for our family. My little cousin graduated from Carter High school yesterday and last night he was killed. Words can not express the heart ache and pain I’m in right now. I’ve watched him grow from a little boy following me to a grown man leading others. Ledajrick Cox you’re always going to be in my heart.”
Cox’s father, Reginald Henry, told KXAS-TV, “It’s just tragic,. One minute you’re hugging your child saying congratulations, and the next minute you’re at a funeral home picking out a casket. It’s not a good feeling at all.”
Henry said his son wanted to be an engineer after college.
3. He Was Set to Play College Football & Was Also a High School Track Star
LD Cox was set to play college football at Navarro College. He recently posted a photo on Twitter showing him the college’s uniform after announcing his decision to sign on with the school.
Cox was a standout wide receiver at Dallas’ Carter High School. He was also a track star.
“He played football, ran track, as well as soccer, baseball. He pretty much did it all,” Cox’s stepfather, Sam Johnson, told KTVT-TV. “We all had dreams for him.”
His football coach, Brian Williams, told the news station, “He could catch that football.”
Patrick Williams Sr., another coach, said, “”He was a joy to be around. “You could tell he enjoyed life.
4. He Gave a Classmate of Pair of Shoes After Seeing He Was Being Bullied
Last December, Cox posted a video of the moment when he gave a classmate a pair of shoes. The classmate, Joshua Reese, was being bullied because he only had one old pair of shoes, the Dallas Morning News reports.
Cox wrote on Twitter, “Dude Was Getting Picked On Cause He Had 1 Pair Of Shoes So I Gave Him Some” along with the video showing him giving the new pair of Nike Jordans to Reese.
“He really saved my life. He knew everything I had going on, he knew I was poor, he knew I didn’t have a dime, he knew I didn’t have anything,” Reese told KDFW-TV. “I cried because nobody has ever done that for me before.”
Hundreds turned out for a vigil Monday night at Carter High School to remember Cox one day after he was fatally shot and just two days after he walked across the stage at the school to receive his diploma.
”He was a funny guy,” Carter student and Cox’s football teammate Daquirean Hayes told WFAA-TV. “He kept everybody in good spirits. Even when he was upset, he made sure else was.”
5. Robinson, 17, Is Being Held at the Irving Jail on a Murder Charge After Police Received Several Tips
Jeremiah Robinson, 17, was arrested Tuesday and charged with murder, the Irving Police Department said in a press release. Robinson was identified as the shooter, according to police. Two other suspects, the driver of the car and another passenger, have also been identified, but their names have not been released. It is not clear if they will be facing charges.
Robinson was booked into the Irving City Jail, where he is being held without bail.
“As a result of media coverage into this case, the detective received numerous tips as to the identity of the driver of the suspect vehicle,” police said. “The investigation has led to the identification of all three suspects and the arrest of the gunman.”
Police said the investigation is ongoing.
Robinson’s mother, Latasha Stampley, told KXAS-TV her son was not the gunman. She said he doesn’t own a gun and might be too afraid to “snitch” on the real shooter.
“I know he didn’t do it,” she told the news station.
Reginald Henry, LD Cox’s father, told the news station he wants justice.
“You can’t give me back what you took from me,” Henry said. “So how are you going to pay me back? What are you going to give me back to equal what I lost? We don’t know what LD would have become or not become. But we’ll never know that because his life ended.”