High School Football Player Killed One Day After Graduation After Defending Friend from Harassment
18-year-old football player LaDajrick Cox, who was set to play at college this fall, was gunned down Sunday soon after standing up for a female friend
An 18-year-old high school football player and prom king in Texas, who was set to play at college this fall, was gunned down early Sunday soon after standing up for a female friend who was being harassed outside a convenience store, PEOPLE confirms.
LeDajrick Cox was shot in the head just before 2 a.m. Sunday and died later that day, according to law enforcement.
He graduated from high school on Saturday, and a police official says he had been celebrating hours before the shooting.
Two other high school friends were shot with Cox but are expected to survive, according to a statement from investigators in Irving, Texas.
Police allege that Jeremiah Robinson, 17, was the trigger man. He has been charged as an adult with murder and is being held without bail.
He has not entered a plea to the charge against him and has yet to retain an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
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Police allege Robinson and two other men “had an argument” with Cox and his friends in the parking lot of an Irving convenience store early Sunday.
A police official tells PEOPLE the friction arose out of Cox’s defense of a female friend, who was the target of sexually-charged remarks from Robinson and his two friends (who have not been charged).
Police said Cox and his friends left the store in the same car and Robinson allegedly hopped in his car and followed them.
“The suspect pulled alongside the victims’ car and shot multiple rounds into the car,” the police statement alleges.
Cox, who was a wide receiver and defensive back in high school, recently agreed to play football for Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas. He had been voted the king of his senior prom and was picked as homecoming king among his classmates, who also voted him most popular, best looking and best all-around.
Cox’s relatives could not be reached following his death, but his father, Reginald Henry, spoke with local TV station KDFW.
“He just wanted to do the right thing, wanted to achieve, just tried so hard,” Henry said of his son. “I was real proud of him.”
He told the station that Cox’s killing was devastating.
“You know, he was my only son — that was it. He has siblings, and they look up to him and they were just so happy for him just to see him happy,” Henry said. “It’s just over. It feels like a part of me is just hurt.”
Another relative shared their grief on Facebook, writing, “Family I’m asking for your prayers right now for our family. My little cousin graduated from Carter High school yesterday and last night he was killed.
“Words can not express the heart ache and pain I’m in right now. I’ve watched him grow from a little boy following me to a grown man leading others. Ledajrick Cox you’re always going to be in my heart.”