A mother believes her son was gunned down over an early Christmas gift.
On the evening of Dec. 18, a gunman shot 17-year-old Ballou High School sophomore James Anthony Smith on a basketball court at the Frederick Douglass Community Center, D.C. police say. He was found on a street a block away, shoeless, and died less than two hours later in the hospital. James’ mother, Benita Smith, said the assailant attacked her son for his sneakers.
Smith paid $220 for the pair of bright red Nike Air Jordans, saying she allowed her son to have his Christmas gift early “because he asked and he’s a good kid.”
“He loved his red shoes. He loved basketball. He loved his computer games,” Smith told the Washington Post. “I can’t believe he was killed, all over a pair of shoes.”
Though police believe it may have been a robbery, an investigation is ongoing. No arrests have been made.
According to The Washington Post‘s report, James was the second student from Ballou to die in violence in 2017 and the sixth teen under the age of 18 killed this year in D.C.