Leroy Hawkins III had his whole life ahead of him. The 17-year-old offensive lineman had just graduated from DeSoto High School in Texas and was headed to Jackson State on a full scholarship. Then it was tragically all over early Tuesday morning.
Hawkins was shot several times and later died at a hospital in Dallas. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, police responded to the shooting at the 400 block of North Akard Street near Federal Street. Hawkins was sitting in the passenger seat of a red 2007 Pontiac when a suspect walked up, argued with both people in the car, and pulled out his gun.
This senseless act of violence now has families, high schools, communities, and universities mourning the loss of a special young man.
It’s so incredibly sad to see a young man’s life taken so soon. It hurts even more knowing Leroy Hawkins just graduated from DeSoto last week.
“I was just thinking about all the people said I was never gone be nothing never was gone get pass high school. Look at me now,” Hawkins tweeted on May 30 with his diploma in hand.
DeSoto ISD tweeted, “As a school community, we are saddened by the loss of Class of 2019 graduate, Leroy Hawkins III. We have been in contact with the family and understand that funeral arrangements are pending at this time. Counselors are available in the high school counselor’s corner for support.”
As a senior, Hawkins helped the Eagles to a 9-3 overall record, including 5-2 in league play. DeSoto lost in the second round of the 6A Division I playoffs.
Jackson State University also released statements from JSU Vice President and Director of Athletics Ashley Robinson and JSU head football coach John Hendrick.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Leroy Hawkins. Leroy was a tremendous son, athlete, student and friend, and he will be sorely missed. We offer our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”
— Ashley Robinson
According to WFAA, 18-year-old Kenaijae Keon Anderson Anderson was arrested by Dallas Police Tuesday and faces murder charges after admitting he shot and killed Hawkins. He remains in the Dallas County jail on $200,000 bond.
Everyone’s thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends who knew the standout offensive lineman during this difficult time.