Death of a High School Star

by James White

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting showed America the horror and pain of gun violence. But most shootings don’t make national headlines, and those gun deaths are just as painful for the families and friends who lose loved ones.

The family of Kevin Victor still reels from the impact of what happened to him on a December night in 2011. Kevin and his friends were walking home from the Brentwood recreation center when two men approached them on a dead end road. While they tried to rob Kevin and his friends, one of the robbers fired a gun. Kevin’s friends ran and turned to realize Kevin was not with them. When they went back they found Kevin had been shot. He died later that night.

Kevin graduated Northwestern High School, where he played football, and people from the school and his family came out for a candlelight vigil the next night. At the funeral a few days later, friends, classmates, family members, teammates and coaches all came to say goodbye. The tears and outpouring of emotion reflected how much they loved and respected Kevin. His death seemed unreal.

Kevin had three younger brothers, Darius, Leon and Shaka. Darius cried when he spoke at the funeral. His brother’s death marked a turning point in his own life. Darius became more driven and focused. He wanted to make his family proud. Darius, who also played football, dedicated his work on the field to his brother. He went on to play at Towson University, graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree and signed an NFL contract with the Arizona Cardinals.

Leon recalled the way he felt after Kevin was killed. “The first couple of days were hard, but my family grew even closer.” Leon finished high school and attended Wesley college in Delaware. The youngest brother Shaka attends Northwestern High School and continues the brothers’ tradition of playing high school football.

Beyond the family, the murder of Kevin Victor still stands out for people who live in the community. Eve Page recalled, “Kevin was a family friend and a bright spirit, his shooting was unnecessary. He deserved to live a good life.” Another local, Edward Robinson, said something positive did happen after Kevin was killed. “The shootings around the community stopped after the shooting of Kevin.”

The Victor family says it wants to see a stricter policy on gun control and restrictions on who can buy guns.