As a teenager in Overtown, Jedadiah Scatliffe was familiar with gun violence.
His aunt Tranise Harris was shot in the arm in 2012 during a youth football game at Overtown’s Gibson Park. When he was in high school, his 16-year-old cousin Richard Hallman was shot and killed in Allapattah in 2015 while driving with a relative to a nearby store.
On Friday night before 10, a spurt of gunfire struck Jedadiah, a recent graduate of Booker T. Washington Senior High School. He was hit in the head while he and several others were at a wake near an Overtown children’s park.
He and another victim were taken by Miami Fire Rescue to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital after the shooting, police said. The other victim remains hospitalized, but 18-year-old Jedadiah died shortly after arriving at the hospital, police said.
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Police did not name either person shot Friday night, but family members and his elementary schoolteacher said Jedadiah was killed in Friday night’s shooting. Miami police are investigating but have not made an arrest.
“He had just marched across the stage” for his high school graduation, said Tangela Sears, who runs the group Parents of Murdered Kids, which she started after her 29-year-old son, David, was killed in Tallahassee in 2015. Jedadiah “was not a bad kid at all, not a wild kid, not a street kid.”
Sears said she knew of Jedadiah through Aunt Tranell Harris, who joined her group after Richard, her son, was killed two years ago. Richard, whose cousin was the former University of Florida quarterback Treon Harris, was killed on March 27, 2015, the same day Marlon Eason, a 10-year-old boy, was shot and killed while playing basketball outside his Overtown home.
Police charged two teens in Marlon’s murder, but did not directly charge anyone for Richard’s death.
Richard and Jedediah were close-knit cousins and attended the same classes growing up, said Rachel O’Connor, who taught both of them third grade at Dunbar Elementary School in Overtown. “They loved life. There was just something about their character. They were so passionate.”
Both kids loved football and their cousin Treon, and their infectious charisma also spilled over into the classroom, she said.
She recalled Jedediah as “one of those kids who couldn’t sit still, always jumping around,” with a smile that showed up often in class and on the playground. They taught their teacher how to dance on the basketball court and, when her husband proposed to her during the school year, cheered her on.
But even in the third grade, O’Connor said, gunfire was always a presence.
“I know what happens in that neighborhood. There were Code Reds all the time,” she said of the emergency lock-downs at school.
Still, she never expected that two of her 14 students in the classroom would fall victim to bullets.
“It’s devastating,” she said.
On Facebook after Friday’s shooting, grieving friends and family shared photos of the teenager they called Eggy or Eggo: him standing with friends, striding across the stage in his cap and gown, posing with his diploma in front of a backdrop of books. Many also commented on Richard’s recent death and at the dual blow that had been dealt to their families.
One woman posted that she had just flown to Miami to watch him graduate two weeks ago and that “now I’m here planning your funeral.”
“My family is broken,” wrote Shirdkevia Myrick. “I feel so empty inside.”
Tranell Harris took to Facebook the morning after the shooting, addressing the teen’s mother, her sister Trevale.
“Lord they say a grieving mother knows what to say,” she wrote. “I have no words for my own sister.”
Tranell Harris had been at Booker T. Washington Senior High’s graduation with Jedadiah on June 1, too – to accept her late son’s high school diploma. At the ceremony, she wept and thanked the audience for their support over the last two years.
On Saturday, she recalled her nephew’s words last week: “Aunty I can’t do this without Richard.’’
“I said yes we got to, and look you gone,” she added.
Tranise Harris, the aunt who was shot in 2012 but survived, also posted that she was “lost for words.”
“We are still healing,” she wrote.
Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho alluded to Jedadiah’s death in a tweet Saturday, calling on witnesses to step forward.
But Sears said she was discouraged, pointing to a history of unsolved gun deaths in the area.
“Nobody’s being caught, nobody’s going to jail,” she said.
In August last year, a shooting at another wake in Liberty City left four injured and two dead.