Carol City High school football player Paul Royal was all packed for college.
A stand-out linebacker in his senior year, Royal,18, was headed to Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, where he had a full-ride football scholarship.
On Tuesday afternoon, he became another victim of Miami-Dade’s recent rash of street shootings.
Royal, known as “P.J.” was killed as he sat in his car in front of his friend’s house Northwest 210th Terrace and 34th Place, Miami Gardens police spokesman William Bamford said.
The two gunmen wore ski masks. They ran away. No arrests have been made. A motive for the slaying is unknown.
Royal’s parents said Thursday they “were too hurt to speak.”
“He went to go pick up his friend to come back home and play PlayStation,” said his aunt, Latoya Perry, 36. “He had just finished working out at the park and wanted to relax. He didn’t deserve this, he had a future.”
Perry had taken Royal shopping at Walmart on Monday for college supplies. “We bought a microwave, cereal, snacks, shirts and lots of his favorite Nike Dri-Fit socks,” she said.
“Words can’t explain the void in my heart,” Perry said. “All P.J. wanted was to get out of Miami and start his new chapter, a new life, a good life. He didn’t want to be a statistic — and that’s exactly what happened to him. How ironic.”
YouTube videos showing Royal playing football for Carol City have received more then 800 views in recent days. Messages of “R.I.P” have also been left by friends.
Royal was the second shooting victim in Miami Gardens that day. Later Tuesday night, another shooting happened just blocks away, said Bamford.
Heather Young, 26, was walking on the sidewalk when she was approached from behind and shot several times in the head and torso at Northwest 210 Terrace and 34 Court.
She was pronounced dead at the scene by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.
Police say the shootings were not related.