Teen who received football scholarship fatally shot during Craigslist transaction

Brian Brown, 19, received full scholarship to Merced College

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A 19-year-old man, who recently graduated from high school and had a scholarship to play college football in California, was shot and killed this week.

Police said the shooting was reported just after 3 p.m. Wednesday in the area of Northeast 177th Street and Ninth Avenue. 

Relatives said Brian Brown, who graduated last week from North Miami Beach Senior High School, was shot three times in the back. 

They believe he was shot during a Craigslist transaction.

According to relatives, Brown advertised video games and a play station on Craigslist to sell.

They said he went to meet the person who was going to buy the games and console from him when the shooting happened.

Brown's father said his son was a good person, who would never hurt anybody.

"Happy, always smiling, a friend to everyone. Everyone who knew him --  I can say at least 200 to 300 people have come here to hug me and told me what a great kid he was. and how much love he just had for everyone," Craig Brown said. "(He) wouldn't hurt a fly, wouldn't hurt anyone. (He) loved animals. He had this dog, you'd think this dog was one of his kids, man."

Brian Brown's girlfriend drove him to Jackson North Medical Center. He was then transferred to Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, where he died.

Craig Brown said his son was excited for college after receiving a full scholarship to Merced College and had recently gone shopping for furniture for his new dorm room.

"Mr. Brown had a bright future as a student-athlete and we were very excited for him to be apart of our program," said Bob Casey, Merced College's head coach. 

He was supposed to leave for northern California on July 1. 

"His passing has left us all stunned and we can do nothing, but pray for his family," Casey said. 

Craig Brown said his son was also working out to stay in shape for the upcoming football season. 

"He was getting ready for it, staying in shape, and everyone, his team mates, friends, everyone was talking about it. He was ready to go," Craig Brown said.

North Miami Beach Senior High School football coach Jeff Bertani said Brian Brown played on the team for four years.

"He was phenomenal on the field for us," Bertani said. "He loved every minute he was on that field. His personality was large on the field, his personality was large off the field."

Brian Brown was the youngest of four siblings in his family.

"I don't know how I'm going to live without Brian. I don't know how," the teen's mother, Landcy Brown said. 

Miami-Dade police are investigating the shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 305-471-2400 or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. A reward of up to $3,000 is offered for information that leads to an arrest.