The community is rallying behind another local family after they tragically lost their teen son this week at the hands of another teen after a shooting Tuesday night in a San Tan Valley neighborhood park.
Jamiere Jenkins, 17, a junior at Combs High School in San Tan Valley, died Nov. 28 after an argument that resulted in him being shot in the neck by another teen, who has been taken into custody by the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office. The teen is not being named at this time because he is a minor.
Yesterday, Jenkins family friend LaTia McCray created a GoFundMe account HERE. She said Jamiere was her son's best friend.
"This young man was brutally gunned down by a group of gangsters and my son had to witness this and the young man's mother was on the phone with him at the time," McCray wrote on the GoFundMe page. "I just want to give her a little support from the community in her time of grieving. He was like a son to me and called me mom when he came to the house. The love we have for this young man and his family is undescribable. Keep them in prayer and his friends as they are having a hard time processing this tragedy. Thank you and God bless you all!"
Late yesterday, McCray gave an account update.
"Thank you again to all that have donated and left such encouraging words! I did up the amount because we reached our goal, but there are so many others that haven't and want to donate," McCray wrote. "I went to visit the family earlier and the donations are much appreciated. His mother is very grateful for all that the community is doing as well. Thank you again for all you have done for this family. The funds have reached over $7,000 and our first goal was $3,500 and I've adjusted the amount to $10,000 and we will keep going if God sees fit."
Today, the GoFundMe account for the Jenkins family has reached $10,022.
This tragedy marks the second death of a Combs High School student. Just over a month ago, fellow junior Preston Lord, 16, was beaten to death after leaving a Halloween party that got out of control near 194th Street and East Via Del Rancho Road in Queen Creek.
There is also a GoFundMe account for the Lord family HERE that has reached $104,880 as of today after the goal had to be increased numerous times this month due to the outpouring of donations.
The J.O. Combs Unified School District released the following statement yesterday:
Words cannot express our sadness and shock as we learn of the tragic death of another Combs High School student. This comes at a particularly devastating time, taking place in the wake of another recent tragedy from which our community is still reeling.
The impact of these events is not only felt deeply by our Combs High School campus, but by countless students, staff and families district-wide whose lives have been touched by these senseless acts of violence.
This latest news only amplifies the collective grief felt by so many in recent weeks, and there is no higher priority than supporting our students and families during this difficult time. This includes the ongoing availability of our crisis team who remain on campus and on call to provide resources and support. We have also created an online resource page for parents and family members who may seek assistance in navigating communication and support of these events with their children.
We express gratitude to our law enforcement partners in their diligent efforts to arrest and charge those responsible for these crimes, and echo their encouragement in asking those with knowledge or information to reach out via their designated channels.