Zaevion Dobson, 15, was hanging out with some friends when multiple gunmen approached the group and started shooting, authorities said.
Dobson jumped on top of three girls to protect them from the gunfire. He was the only one hit and was pronounced dead at the scene.
“I’m shocked. I’m really just shocked,” said Dobson's brother, Zack Dobson. “We were just sitting on the porch chilling, and we see these random dudes walking up. Why would you shoot at random bystanders for nothing? (Zaevion) was an awesome kid brother, awesome brother. Just know that I miss him. I miss my brother.”
Police believe the shooting was connected to two other shootings that same night.
“These cowardly and senseless acts of violence must stop,” Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch said.
Rob Black, Zaevion Dobson's football coach, and Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero had nothing but good things to say about the young man.
“He was really one of our success stories,” Rogero said. “(He was) involved in sports, a mentee of one of our organizations in town. But still he falls victim to this.”