JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Lee High School's head football coach is remembering Malik Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed Friday night near King's Road, as a dedicated, talented young man.
Brown graduated from Lee High School this spring and went on to attend Warner University on a football scholarship. He was home from Warner on winter break.
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office investigators said Brown was shot Friday night during a robbery in the parking lot of an apartment complex on West 12th Street just off Kings Road. He died at the scene.
A second victim, who police said is in his 20s, was shot multiple times, but is expected to survive.
Lee High School head football coach O.J. Small described Brown as not only a talented athlete, but also a talented student who graduated from Lee with a 3.8 GPA.
“He’s a very respectful young man and a hard worker," Small said. “Just a good kid, good all around man and, unfortunately, we need more people like him in this world and, unfortunately, we’re losing them.”
Family and football were two of Brown's greatest loves. Small said his talents were obvious on the field and in the classroom.
"All the way around, bright future. He had a 3.8 GPA. Very smart, gifted kid," Small said. "Hard worker, very quiet, 'Yes or no, sir,' type kid, and it's unfortunate what happened."
The star running back took his high school talents to the next level, starting his college football career at Warner University this fall.
"I was very proud of him. I was very fortunate enough to be able to coach him," Small said. "His senior year, he transferred over from University Christian and, you know, he's just a hard worker. He came every day ready to work. He's a leader, natural leader. Worked hard in the weight room. Worked hard in the classroom, and it paid off."
Brown's aunt, Natrina Williams, said her nephew was extremely devoted to his family, especially his daughter, born one month ago.
"It is heartbreaking to the family, but we will be there to support the mom and the baby as well, and to share the memories of Malik with her even though she won't get the opportunity to know her father and get that one-on-one relationship with him," Williams said.
JSO said more than six shots were fired during the robbery that claimed Brown's life, and police believe there are multiple suspects involved even though a description of them has not been released.
“We don’t have much details on it. We just want the officers to be able to do their investigation, and if there’s anyone out there who knows anything, please contact them because we need some closure as a family,” Williams said.