Rising football star fatally shot during dispute about video game, mother says

16-year-old arrested in connection with shooting death of Joshua Ancrum

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The mother of a 17-year-old rising football star told Local 10 News her son was shot to death during an argument with a childhood friend about a video game.

Joshua Ancrum was fatally shot Tuesday afternoon at a home on Northwest 207th Street in Miami Gardens.

Lisa Alvarez said Ancrum was at a childhood friend's house when an argument about a video game led to the shooting. Ancrum was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where he was pronounced dead.

"What mother wants to bury their son," Alvarez said. "It's supposed to be the other way around."

Miami Gardens police Officer Carolyn Frazer said a 16-year-old boy was arrested in connection with the fatal shooting. Jatwan Phillips appeared in court Wednesday morning and faces a charge of aggravated manslaughter. It's unclear whether he will be charged as an adult. 

Ancrum was like a brother to his seven-on-seven South Florida Express football team. His teammates said Ancrum went through some tough times, but his life took a positive turn after they rallied around him and the college scholarship offers started pouring in.

"He might have grown up in a bad neighborhood and he had a lot of bad influences and stuff like that, but when he came with us, it was, kind of, you try to lead him in the right direction," teammate Derek Wingo, who is committed to play football at Penn State, told Local 10 News.

Ancrum had received a scholarship to play football at Florida International University.

"We are saddened at the news of Joshua's passing," head coach Butch Davis said in a statement. "We at FIU will be praying for his family, friends and teammates in these trying times." 

Ancrum's teammates established a GoFundMe page to help the family pay for his funeral expenses.

Alvarez said her son loved football and dreamed of playing at the next level. Now he'll never get that chance.

Joshua Ancrum's 16-year-old friend appears in court after his arrest in connection with the rising football star's fatal shooting.

"Stop the violence," she said.

Phillips was ordered by a judge Wednesday to remain in jail.

About the Authors:

Parker Branton joined Local 10 News in January 2019 as a reporter. He was born and raised in Rome, Georgia, but now loves living on the sunny beaches of South Florida.