Tuesday 24 October 2023

Father accused of shooting youth football coach 4 times for not starting his son; victim leaves hospital to keep coaching

 St. Louis, Missouri, youth football coach was shot four times allegedly by a father of a player who was upset that his son was not in the starting lineup for the team.

The 30-year-old volunteer coach was allegedly shot during a practice by suspect Daryl Clemmons, who turned himself in following the shooting, KMOV reported.

Police stated that the victim, Shaquille Latimore, told authorities that Clemmons was a parent of one of the kids on his team but that he was upset that his son had not been starting in games. Police documents reportedly stated that the father approached the coach and asked "what was up" before pulling the gun.

A witness corroborated the story, and Clemmons was charged with felony first-degree assault and armed criminal action. 

Latimore spoke to KMOV St. Louis from his hospital bed via cell phone video:

"I just want to tell y'all, thank y'all," Latimore said laboriously. "Thank y'all everybody who has been praying," he added.

Despite four gunshot wounds, the victim was out of the hospital in just seven days.

“Doctor said maybe a half inch to the left, I basically wouldn’t have been able to walk again; I’d be paralyzed,” Latimore said after his release.

Latimore described that he and the parent had already been in a previous exchange: "I confronted him, basically wanted to talk to him or whatever, that’s when he started shooting for real," he said.

Ten-year-old team member Antonio Gray articulated how he felt the parent put all the children at risk.

“The parent, he gotta think about the future, he gotta think about what could have happened to the other kid, his own son, he could have shot his own son,” the boy said.

Parents and coaches were upset to later learn that their team had been disqualified from the playoffs despite having a better win/loss record than those that were included.

A statement from the football league took responsibility for canceling the team's season, saying that "after a series of incidents perpetuated by adults which culminated in [the] shooting, the Recreation Division decided to suspend the team’s participation in the CityRec Legends Football league."

The league said the decision was made to "ensure the protection of our youth participants, ages 5 to 13."

The coach expressed that he would do whatever it takes to let the team play.

“I will step back just so they can let them have a season; don’t do that to them,” said Latimore. “I do still want to coach for sure,” he added.

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