‘Everybody loved him’: Phoebus High junior dies after shooting at Hampton playground


HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — A 17-year-old Phoebus High School student is dead following a shooting Wednesday night at a Hampton playground. 

A classmate told 10 On Your Side about 17-year-old Jamari Sanders, saying, “well, another young one gone.” 

It is clear this is another senseless shooting, another needless death, another broken family.

Sanders was shot and killed while in the park on the first block of Fulton Street around 7 p.m. He was a Phoebus High School junior and a member of the football team.

“He was a big old teddy bear.  He was cool. Everyone loved him. Everyone showed him love.  It’s just crazy,” said classmate Tierra Mobley.

Wednesday night was crazy, and sad, and deadly.  Bob Franklin had just spoken to Sanders as he walked along Fulton Street, when suddenly, “pop, pop, pop. It was like a pistol … I am sure the shots came from a gun inside the Nissan, yes,” says Franklin. 

He also showed 10 On Your Side the distance the suspect, that new model, 4-door, gray Nissan sedan, was when he heard the shots, and saw Sanders on the ground. It was about 60-70 yards. 

Sanders was struck multiple times, police say. He was taken to the hospital, but he died shortly after arrival. 

Robert Hamilton had just come out of his home, and his mother said she heard three shots, “I ran through the gate, I saw him laying between the playground and the trees … I ran back through the fence, grabbed some towels and tried to stop some of the bleeding before the police pulled up … he was just trying to breathe.  His friends were trying to get him to say something, but he wasn’t saying nothing … they were saying ‘I love you.’ One of his friends called the ambulance, and the other ran to get his mom … I heard he had been shot in the head and the back.”

Late Thursday afternoon, Hampton detectives were still going over the Fulton Street playground. 

Jamari’s teammates left a football with No. 58 on it in the woods near where he was shot.

Jaylah Earley, a former manager with the Phoebus football team, stopped by to pay respects, with plenty of tears.
“You have somebody who asks you about your day.  He would say you are doing a good job, even though I didn’t know him he had positive feedback either way,” Earley said. 
Phoebus High held a moment of silence for Sanders on Thursday. 
If you have any information, please call police.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates. 

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