8th Grade Football Phenom Jaylon McKenzie Shot & Killed By Stray Bullet

This is just sad and tragic.

The name Jaylon McKenzie was on its way to being a household name in just a few years as the next big thing, but he will never get that opportunity after he was shot and killed by a stray bullet at a party Saturday night, CNN reports.

The eighth grade football phenom from Mason-Clark Middle School was said to be walking outside of the party after a fight broke out when he was hit by a stray bullet, according to his heartbroken mother, Sukeena Gunner.

“He and a 15-year-old girl were taken to a hospital where Jaylon died a short time after, police said. The girl is in critical condition, police said.

Gunner told CNN Sunday that her family was usually traveling every weekend for some type of football-related activity.

Because Jaylon played on a summer travel football team, played in basketball and ran track, he didn’t usually attend parties.

But May was slower, she said, so Jaylon had more free time.

Gunner said Jaylon was with friends Saturday night.

“They stopped by the party, not with any intentions to staying long,” she said. They were there to pick up something from a friend, she said.

Around midnight she received a call from Jaylon’s brother with the news.

“I just started screaming,” she said. “I just prayed and asked the Lord not to take my baby.”

Gunner said she and the family are having a hard time coming to terms with Jaylon’s death.

“It’s very hard,” she said. “It’s still like a bad dream, like I’m gonna wake up in the morning and my baby’s gonna be smiling at me asking for something to eat like he always does.”

At age 13, Jaylon was featured in Sports Illustrated as one of the “six teens who will rule the future in sports.”

The 14-year-old was said to already being offered college scholarships from University of Missouri and University of Illinois.

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