VENICE, Ill. (KMOV.com) - Three suspects have been charged in connection with the shooting death of Metro East football player Jaylon McKenzie.
Jaylen Staten, 20, is charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm, reckless discharge of a firearm, and aggravated unlawful use of weapons. He is currently being held in the St. Clair County Jail on unrelated charges, prosecutors tell News 4. Those charges were announced Friday.
Monday, News 4 learned Maurice Dickerson, 21, and Larrion Shelby, 21, were charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm. Dickerson was charged in 2019, a little more than one month after the shooting; Shelby was charged in September, 2020.
McKenzie and a 15-year-old girl were hit by a stray bullet as they were leaving a party at a home on Third Street in Venice, Illinois on May 4, 2019. McKenzie’s mother, Sukeena Gunner, said McKenzie had walked out of the party to avoid a fight when he was killed. His father describes the moment he learned his son was shot.
"I can’t explain it. It’s a call you never thought you would get, never thought it would happen to you,” the 14-year-old's father said. The Belleville, Illinois, rising football star was killed in a shooting late Saturday night.
"I can’t explain it," Otis Gunner said. "It’s a call you never thought you would get, never thought it would happen to you."
McKenzie was an eighth-grader at Mason-Clark Middle School and was on his way to playing football at East St. Louis High School. Gunner said he was already receiving attention from college programs, including Mizzou and Illinois.