A 15-year-old jumped on top of his friends to shield them from a spray of gunfire. Zaevion William Dobson’s selfless act was his last.
In December, Dobson, who was a sophomore high school football player in Knoxville, Tennessee, had been with his friends when two men approached the group and began firing. Dobson protected three girls who were not injured.
His final act caught the attention of President Barack Obama, who tweeted shortly after his death that Dobson was “a hero at 15.” He was posthumously honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2016 ESPYS.
On Thursday, two suspects were charged with first-degree murder in the death of Dobson.
Christopher Bassett and Richard Williams face numerous charges, including attempted murder of eight other people. They are both being held on a $1 million bond, Knox County District Attorney Charme Allen said in a news conference covered by CNN affiliate WATE.
Both men are charged with additional counts of attempted first-degree murder and employing a firearm during a felony. Bassett faces additional counts of unlawful possession of a weapon.
Dobson and his friends had been sitting on the front porch of one of their relative’s house when the suspects approached.
Faith Gordon, 17, who was one of the teens saved by Dobson, told WATE what happened that day.
“We were only there for like 15 minutes. We were just sitting there talking and laughing, and next thing you know, it’s like a couple of guys… they walk, they just stop, and they stand for awhile and we’re all trying to figure out like what’s going on, what they’re doing, who they are. They started shooting,” she said.
Dobson’s brother said it was the teenager’s dream to be a football player or a coach.