Recently, a volunteer youth football coach in St. Louis, Missouri, was allegedly shot four times following an altercation with a disgruntled parent. The horrifying event unfolded in front of the coach’s 9- and 10-year-old team when an angry father confronted him over his son not securing a starting position.
“I am a miracle. I beat the odds,” said 30-year-old Shaquille Latimore. The youth coach described taking a hail of gunfire from the parent, identified as 43-year-old Daryl Clemmons. “A bullet hit me under my left arm, on my left forearm, my leg, and one went through my lower back and out my liver. All of the bullets went through me,” he recalled, describing the attack that took place last month.
Latimore expressed the utmost gratitude, thanking the Lord for still being alive after enduring four gunshots. “I was hit four times and grazed once. I still have bullet fragments in my body, I can still feel it, but by the grace of God, man, I’m blessed, and I’m still here,” he added.
The coach claimed there was a longstanding tension between him and Clemmons, where the parent would criticize Latimore following the youth football games. “After every game, he would try to critique me,” Latimore stated.
However, when tensions reached a boiling point, Latimore described not being able to escape the conflict before being hit with gunfire. “I didn’t see his gun until it was already too late,” Latimore recalled. “I ran, and he shot me in the back. I fell, and he shot me a couple more times.”
“After he shot me, he was like, ‘I told you I was going to pop your [expletive],'” he stated, adding further detail to the alleged attack. Latimore indicated that he believes Clemmons should face more charges since he displayed little to no remorse for the potentially fatal attack. “I really believe he should face more charges,” Latimore explained.
Following the shooting incident, the City of St. Louis Recreation Division moved to suspend the St. Louis BadBoyz, the team Latimore helped coach.
“After a series of incidents perpetrated by adults which culminated in Tuesday’s shooting, the Recreation Division decided to suspend the team’s participation in the CityRec Legends Football League,” the city said in a statement. “League rules are in place to ensure the protection of our youth participants, ages 5 to 13, and we will continue to uphold the rules to ensure this football season is safe and successful.”
Increasingly over the past few years, it would seem that there are a rising number of incidents involving violence at youth sporting events. Many have pointed to a deterioration of acceptable social behavior and societal norms plaguing our communities.
“I think we’ve lost some decorum in society in general, and I think that’s carried over into the interscholastic arena,” Todd Nelson, assistant director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, said. “I think people feel because they paid for admission into a game or because their son or daughter is playing in the game, that they have the ability to say what they want and there should be no consequences to it.”
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