NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – A 16-year-old West Nassau High School football player died after being shot Monday, several family members and close friends told News4Jax.
Loved ones identified the teen as Trent Fort, who they described as a hard hitter on the field and a jokester who made everyone laugh off the field.
“It’s really sad. I mean, he was a good friend. He always knew how to make everyone laugh. He was always happy, outgoing,” said a friend, who did not wish to be named.
A spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office said the 16-year-old boy was shot in the chest about 4:30 p.m. at a stop sign in the Spring Lake Estates neighborhood off Lem Turner Road. The teen was driven to West Nassau High School -- about 8 minutes away -- and then transported to a hospital in critical condition, the spokeswoman said. Family members and close friends later confirmed he died.
The Sheriff’s Office is expected to provide more information at a 10 a.m. news conference Tuesday.
Malik Green said he spoke with his friend, Fort, in the parking lot after school -- about an hour before the shooting.
“We was talking. We were messing around and stuff and still having fun and that was the last moment I got with him,” Green said. "He always had the funniest personality. If you got your head down, he’ll pick it right up. He was always a good person to talk to.”
The spokeswoman said a 17-year-old, who is suspected of pulling the trigger, was taken into custody at a different location, and another suspect under the age of 18 was taken into custody at the McDonald’s in Callahan. “Most” of the three involved went to West Nassau High, the spokeswoman said.
It’s unclear why the 16-year-old was taken to the high school after the shooting, but the spokeswoman said at least four people were in a car with the victim. The spokeswoman said it’s also unknown whether the shooter was in the car.
Green said Fort, who wore No. 21, will always be remembered as a great football player and an even greater friend.
“When he’s on the field, he’s always serious. But when we’re not playing, he’s always funny, always got you laughing every time," Green said. “Trent, I’m going to miss you brother. Just rest in peace. I love you, man."