Two charged with murder in shooting death of Zaevion Dobson
The high school football player died last December while shielding several of his friends from gunfire.
KNOXVILLE - Authorities have charged two men in connection to the fatal shooting of Zaevion Dobson, the former Fulton High School football player who died last December while shielding several of his friends from gunfire.
Christopher Bassett and Richard Williams were each charged with first-degree murder, the Knox County District Attorney General's Office announced Thursday. They are being held on $1 million bond.
An arraignment hearing has not been set.
DA Charme Allen made the announcement during a brief press conference. She declined to take questions.
Dobson, 15, was hanging out with friends on a front porch on the evening of Dec. 17 evening when gunmen or a gunman fired randomly in the Lonsdale neighborhood where he lived.
Dobson blocked the shots with his body, saving friends Faith Gordon, 17, and Kiara Rucker, 16. They were on the front porch of Gordon's aunt. Dobson died that night.
In the hours following Dobson’s death, Bassett, 20, admitted to shooting the high school student, a Knoxville police investigator testified in late January.
Police initially charged Bassett with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and violation of probation. During his preliminary hearing, investigator A.J. Loeffler testified that Bassett admitted to shooting toward a crowd in the Lonsdale neighborhood with Brandon Perry on the night of Dec. 17, when Dobson was killed.
Loeffler said Bassett told him they went to the Lonsdale neighborhood in retaliation for a gang-related shooting earlier in the night. Police said the group arrived and randomly began shooting because Perry's mother had been injured by gunfire earlier that night.
A few hours later, Perry was shot and crashed Bassett's BMW into an apartment building. Bassett was riding in the car. Loeffler said security cameras captured the shooting, and that another car drove up to the group, and fired on the Bassett vehicle.
Brandon Perry would later die at the hospital. Bassett was taken for an interview with police, but was not initially a suspect in a crime, said Loeffler.
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