A local football program is mourning the loss of both a player and a coach who lost their lives to gun violence days apart in Southeast D.C.
Karon Brown, 11, was shot dead as he was in a car with someone near the intersection of Naylor Road and Alabama Avenue about 7 p.m. Thursday, police said.
On Sunday, 27-year-old Jamal Bandy died when someone shot him multiple times in the 1300 block of Congress Street SE.
Both Brown and Bandy had a connection to the Woodland Tigers Youth Sports and Educational Program.
Brown played on the youth football team. Bandy was a coach who worked to keep kids off of the streets and out of trouble.
"All my coaches, we took this real hard. It hurts and we’re just trying to figure out what is going on," said Michael Zanders, the director of the program.
Zanders says during his 33 years directing the Woodland Tigers, he’s had to attend the funerals of more than 20 players.
"Numb. Fighting back tears, you know, wondering what’s going on in our society," said Michael Zanders, the director of the Woodland Tigers program.
Brown's teammates were looking forward to getting back on the field with him next season, but instead are confronted with the dangers of gun violence.
"It didn’t matter where he was at, he was always making jokes. He was always making the team laugh," teammate Tracy Barrett said.
"He knew how to play football and I just miss having him here," teammate Keon Young said.
The boys say they’ll play in honor Brown next season.
"We can't give up because these are our babies," Zanders said.
Police arrested 29-year-old Tony Antoine McCLam on Saturday in Brown's killing. He was charged with second-degree murder while armed.
Police are still searching for a suspect in Bandy's death.