Raines student was always with family, ‘happy to go to college,’ family members say

Rashaud Fields died Monday in shooting after graduation party

With the parents of Rashaud Fields not yet speaking publicly with News4JAX, his extended family came together Wednesday afternoon — hoping to stop short any rumors or assumptions people might make about the Raines High School graduate.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With the parents of Rashaud Fields not yet speaking publicly with News4JAX, his extended family came together Wednesday afternoon — hoping to stop short any rumors or assumptions people might make about the Raines High School graduate.

Kizzy James, for a time, lived with her cousin -- who is Rashaud Fields’ mother -- and says she knew first hand, just how overprotective she was of the well-known athlete. Fields was killed Monday night in a shooting in Jacksonville.

“I used to hear him say, ‘Ma, everybody be making fun of me because you don’t let me go nowhere. They be going to movies and stuff, but you don’t let me go nowhere.’ But she allowed his friends to come to the house,” James said.

She said Monday, the day the high school senior graduated from Raines, his mother let him go to a house party that night on Pine Estates Road in the Highlands neighborhood.

That’s where police say the teen was shot and taken to a hospital, but did not survive.

“He’s never been in any gang, never smoked, never did anything,” James said. “When you see Rashaud, he’d always been with family.”

It’s why the close-knit family says they’re so broken by his death -- a big teddy bear, is how they describe him, who they say had a full athletic scholarship to Keiser University in Ft. Lauderdale.

“He was so happy to go to college,” said Willeana Williams, his paternal aunt. “He would struggle to get there. His parents never gave up on him.”

Local community activist Nashon Nicks says he hopes the Jacksonville community doesn’t give up either.

“We’ve got to have preventative measures on the Northside of Jax to ensure that our teenagers can have some healthy fun without the fear of violence or fatalities,” Nicks said.

Investigators are still looking to speak with witnesses or collect surveillance videos that might identify the shooter.


About the Author:

Joy Purdy co-anchors the 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts with Tarik Minor and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Kent Justice.