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President Hails HS ‘Hero’ Saving Girls, Asks ‘What’s Our Excuse for Not Acting?’

The president of the United States hailed the Knoxville teenager killed while protecting girls from gunfire as a “hero” through his Twitter account.

While Barack Obama’s salute to Zaevion Dobson’s bravery meets no controversy, his vague question about why the rest of us don’t act might be reasonably interpreted as an oblique reference to gun control. This fall, the president called shootings “something we should politicize” in his push for gun control.


Dobson died from gunshot wounds endured on Thursday night in Knoxville when men drove into his neighborhood and randomly opened fire into a crowd in a non sequitur retaliation for one of shooters’ mom getting shot earlier in the day. That shooter, Brandon Perry, died from gunshot wounds later that evening in a third incident that ended with him driving through a wall and into a woman’s home.

“Zaevion Dobson, a 15-year-old Fulton High School student and football player, was struck and killed after he had jumped on top of three girls to shield them…to shield them from the shooters,” a choked-up Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch informed the media.

The sophomore played linebacker and fullback for his high school football team, compiling 32 tackles and a sack. His classmates regarded him as a leader and noted his passion for the gridiron.

“All Zae wanted to do was play football,” Destiny Mabry, a fellow student at Fulton High School, told Knoxville’s WATE-TV. “That’s literally all he wanted to do.”

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