Monday, May 22, 2006

Another life gone because of stupidity.

Crime: via the Sun-Sentinel.

Just four days shy of his high school graduation, Jeffrey Johnson Jr. pulled on his white graduation cap at a party and stood up to a teenager who was heckling him about having an inferior car. The 17-year-old worked hard to earn a 5.5 grade point average and a full ride to St. Thomas University, family members said. He wanted to show his aggressor, a teenager who had a similar car but with spinning rims, that education topped material things. "He was standing up on top of his car, saying, `You've got the better car, but I've got a future,'" Miami police spokesman Delrish Moss said witnesses told police. That future was cut short minutes later. When Jeffrey jumped down off his orange Monte Carlo, the owner of the other car, an orange Grand Prix, punched him in the face. The two teens grappled and, suddenly, several shots rang out, scattering partygoers. Jeffrey was found lying dead in the middle of the 1700 block of Northwest 53rd Street in Miami. Two other teenagers injured in the attack just after 1 a.m. Sunday were found blocks away, nursing their wounds. Teenagers were celebrating the end of the school year at a house party when the car faceoff began. The two orange cars were parked nose-to-nose so a crowd could compare them and cheer for the best one, Moss said. "[Jeffrey] didn't come out there for a competition, but that's what happened," said his older brother, Kareem Gray. ....Jeffrey's father, Jeffrey Johnson Sr., went to the scene after police told him about the shooting. Friends who were there told the father that Jeffrey was trying to leave after he got a bad feeling about the party when the car competition began. "Nobody deserves to see their kid lying in the road dead," Johnson said in an interview at his Miami Gardens home. "He was just there a minute too long." The honors student known to family as "Lil Markie" would have graduated from Carol City Senior High School on Thursday and hoped to become a lawyer. Among his accolades, Jeffrey earned one of the state's highest scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test as a junior and received a Bright Futures scholarship for college, his family said. "He didn't have a chance to live his life," Jeffrey's sister, Shenika Sapp, 30, said through tears. One of Jeffrey's passions was basketball. But he put that aside during his last year of high school to focus on his studies, his father said. "He said, `If I play basketball, I'll go to a Division II school, but if I work on my studies, I'm going to get into a Division I school. He had it made." Jeffrey worked as an intern in the office of U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Miami, in 2004. Meek planned to visit the family Sunday night. "He was a hard-working man, full of promise," Meek said in a statement. "This is a terrible tragedy for our community and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time." His father pushed his kids to focus on their studies. His sister Jarricka Taylor, 28, is in her third year of college. "He knew that school was the way out of the ghetto," Johnson said. "People can take a lot from you, but they can't take your education."
Over someone getting pissed about a car someone gets killed. What else can be said.

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