KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (CBS) – Thursday’s gang related crime wave in Knoxville, TN claimed the lives of two and injured one other. Zaveion “Zae” Dobson was a hero who died protecting young girls from the gang violence.
His mother Zenobia Dobson is proud of her son. “I think it was an honor for my son to protect another individual.”
Zae’s brother Zach was there and witnessed his brothers heroism. “I picked him up and I sat him in my arms and I was shaking him and I was like I love you, wake up, I need you, wake up.”
The young girls, whom Zaevion shielded from the bullets said that, “If it wasn’t for Zaevion, me or her would have probably been shot.”
Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch says Zaevion was caught in the crossfire of rival gangs.
Authorities say that Brandon Perry, the other person who was shot and killed, was one of the gang members who shot at Zaevion.
“A group of men shot at Brandon Perry’s home, and Brandon Perry went to retaliate. In retaliating, he shot this football star.” said Rausch.
Less than three hours after he shot Zaevion, Brandon Perry was shot and killed by a rival gang.
This weekend at a candle light vigil, classmates remembered the young hero who grew up to become a football star with high potential.
Football coach Rob Black says that Zae was “A great kid, a guy that worked harder than anybody it seemed like it. A guy that made the right choices that gave him a chance to be successful and he was a success story.”