Elijah DeWitt: Tribute to the Georgia High School Football Star

elijah dewitt

Facebook/GoFundMe Elijah DeWitt

Elijah DeWitt was a star high school football player in Georgia.

DeWitt, 18, was shot to death outside a Dave & Busters restaurant in a mall parking lot. Kemare Bryan and Chandler Richardson are the two teenagers accused in the murder of Georgia star high school football player Elijah DeWitt.

“He was an athlete at heart. But I don’t … want people to remember Elijah just as that,” his girlfriend Bailey Reidling told Fox News. “I just want everyone really to know how much of a light he was.”

“The Gwinnett Police Department has charged Kemare Bryan (18 year-old-male, Lawrenceville) and Chandler Richardson (19 year-old-male, Lawrenceville) with Felony Murder, Malice Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of Certain Felonies in connection with the murder of Elijah Dewitt,” Gwinnett police wrote in a news release.

“Bryan and Richardson are currently in the custody of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office in Anderson, SC. At this time, it’s planned that they will be extradited to Gwinnett County on Monday October 10.”

Here’s what you need to know about Elijah DeWitt:

1. A GoFundMe Page Calls DeWitt ‘a Shining Star’; His Father Has Already Forgiven the Gunman

DeWitt’s dad, Craig DeWitt, has already forgiven the shooter.

“We don’t know the kids. We don’t know their background. We don’t know their story. They’re forgiven from me,” Craig DeWitt said to Atlanta News First. He described his son as an “amazing kid” who looked at “every day as a gift.”

A GoFundMe page in DeWitt’s memory has raised more than $49,000.

“As you know, we lost a shining star in Elijah DeWitt this week. We have started this fundraiser so that everyone who wants to show love and support to Craig, Dawn, Delaney and the entire family during this time will have a meaningful opportunity to help,” the page reads.

2. DeWitt Was a ‘Fierce Competitor With a Very Large Heart,’ His Mother Says

DeWitt’s mother told Fox 5 that she believes the shooting occurred in a botched robbery attempt. She told the television station her son was on a date with his girlfriend, Bailey Reidling, when he was shot.

Reidling told Fox News what happened.

I run over to Elijah, and he’s on the ground, and I go right over to him, and he mouths to me — the last word he said to me was ‘help.’ You’re screaming in the moment because you’re in shock. So, it’s like a scream that you don’t try to do, it’s just coming out. I checked his pulse, and I got freaked out because there is nothing going on there. Some sweet lady came around the corner and said, ‘Baby, he just got shot. Calm down. We called 911. They’re already on their way.’

“I want him to be remembered as a fierce competitor with a very large heart,” Dawn DeWitt told the television station.

The station reported that DeWitt was 18. The murder occurred near a Dave & Buster’s restaurant at Sugarloaf Mills Mall in Lawrenceville.

3. Jefferson High School Football Tweeted That the Program ‘Is Heartbroken’ by DeWitt’s Death

Jefferson football tweeted, “The Jefferson High School Football program is heartbroken as we mourn the loss of one of our own, Elijah DeWitt. The DeWitt family is in our thoughts and prayers. We appreciate your understanding as we respect the family’s privacy during this time.”

In September, a recruiter wrote on Twitter, “Heck of a player here. Mr. Dewitt played his chin strap and socks off last night at Oconee County. 6-2 and 185. Played both ways at CB and WR. Class of 2023.”

“One thing I can say from the @OCFearTheSpear and @JeffersonFootba is that @ElijahDewitt3 is a playmaker, baller on the outside, and really gives his all. He didn’t come off the field and plays both sides of the ball. This is one of the many plays he made Friday Night,” wrote another Twitter user in September.

4. DeWitt Shared Football Videos on Twitter

On his Twitter page, DeWitt shared videos of his football games.

“6’2 185 WR Class of 2023,” his profile reads. “Elijah DeWitt is a 6-2, 185-pound Wide Receiver from Bogart, GA,” his recruiting page on 247 Sports says.

5. Police Are Still Investigating the Motive for the Shooting, Which Occurred in a Parking Lot

Police say they are still investigating the motive.

“Detectives are still working to investigate the motive behind this incident, it appears that the suspects and the victim were familiar with each other and when they encountered each other in the parking lot, an altercation took place and then the shooting,” they wrote.

“The Gwinnett Homicide Unit was assisted in this arrest by the Anderson County Sherriff’s Office as well as the Georgia State Patrol.”

They added: “…Detectives have reason to believe that this was not a random encounter and that some of the parties involved in the incident were known to each other.” According to the Gwinnett Daily Post, both suspects were arrested in South Carolina but have been brought back to Georgia.

In their initial statement, police wrote, “The Gwinnett Police Department is investigating a shooting that left Elijah Dewitt (17-year-old male from Jefferson) deceased. Shortly after 8:15 P.M. officers responded to a “person shot call” at 5900 Sugarloaf Pkwy. Upon arrival, officers located Dewitt deceased on the ground in the parking lot with gunshot wounds.”

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