FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Family and friends gathered at McWhite’s Funeral Home to celebrate the life of a 15-year-old shot and killed just after his grandfather’s funeral in Riviera Beach.
Terrance Jackson, Jr., was a rising football star, a sophomore at Deerfield Beach High School. His family told Local 10 News that he had received a recruiting badge from Florida State University only days before losing his life.
On Feb. 2, Jackson attended his grandfather’s funeral before a gunman killed him outside of Victory City Church, 163 W. 20 St., in Riviera Beach. Royce Freeman, 47, was also shot and killed, and 30-year-old Shanita Miller wounded.
“When I saw him in the Bucks uniform, it touched my heart even more because I knew that that was the second death that they had of a football player,” said Peggy Lee, the teenager’s cousin. Bryce Gowdy, whose Dec. 30th death was ruled a suicide, was a Deerfield Beach High School football player who had been recruited by Georgia Tech and was supposed to be on campus on Jan. 6.
Lee remembers Jackson speaking at his grandfather’s funeral not long before he was killed. “He spoke very eloquently about his grandfather. He had everybody giggling and laughing. He made an impact on a lot of people. In 15 years, he made a huge impact.”
Those attending the funeral said that what led up to the violence was uncalled for and could have been avoided. Investigators with the Broward Sheriffs Office said the shooting came after two families attending the funeral had a disagreement and started shooting.
Deerfield Beach high school football coach, Jevon Glenn, was in Auburn, Alabama, for a college tour with Jackson’s teammates when he learned of the tragedy. Jackson was a defensive end and linebacker. Glenn said that the high school player had passed up the team trip to attend the funeral.
There still have been no arrests in the case. Jackson’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday in Pompano Beach.