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Tragic Norcross, Ga., shooting takes life of budding freshman athlete

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

A two-sport high school athlete was murdered at point-blank range by home invaders who allegedly targeted his room on Thursday night, tragically cutting short a promising young life in suburban Atlanta.

As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, NBC affiliate 11ALive, and a handful of other media outlets, 15-year-old Nicholas Jackson II was fatally shot and killed in Norcross, Ga., when six men forced their way into his family's house. After he was shot, Jackson's sister, Nikia Jackson, called 911 and began performing CPR until paramedics arrived. Those efforts apparently kept Jackson II alive until he reached a hospital, but he could not be saved.

"He's the best brother anybody could have," Nikia Jackson told the Journal-Constitution. "It seems so senseless. I don't know why they did it. They just broke in and went straight to his room."

That specific reference to the men going directly to Jackson II's room is what seems most disturbing about the entire troubling incident. The Norcross (Ga.) High freshman was known as an upstanding member of the school community, earning a spot on the school's varsity football team in his first year at the school. He was also a budding basketball player at Norcross.

In fact, Jackson II had even been the valedictorian of his eighth-grade class at Norcross (Ga.) Hopewell Christian Academy before transferring to Norcross High for his ninth-grade year, Hopewell Christian principal Dr. Burrell Pope told the Journal-Constitution.

"He was a young man of integrity, a mentor to a lot of the students who were younger than him," Pope said. "He was always willing to help out when needed."

Pope said he never had any discipline issues with Jackson.

"He was the type of kid who stayed away from trouble," he said. "That was his motto, he wanted always to stay away from trouble."

Just hours later, police had already detained the six men involved in the break-in thanks to detailed descriptions by Nikia Jackson. All of the suspects are 19 or older. Three of the men are in their 30s, while fellow suspect Eddie Lewis Green is 46-years-old.

Meanwhile, the teenager's classmates and former schoolmates at Hopewell Christian mourned a young life that was clearly taken too soon, and all were left to puzzle over why he was no longer with them.

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