During a video conference call with reporters on Monday, Wizards point guard Ish Smith was asked about gun violence in the United States, specifically in light of the recent murder of 11-year-old Davon McNeal in Southeast Washington. Smith had heard of his passing and it hit quite close to home.
"His life is cut short at 11 years. I got a nephew right now who is 11 years old. He's 11 and I know the dreams and aspirations he wants and where he wants to get to," Smith said.
McNeal was killed by a stray bullet on Saturday while attending a non-violence cookout organized by his mother. He was in the sixth grade at Kramer Middle School in Southeast.
McNeal's death is all too familiar for Smith, who has seen far to many cases just like this one.
"What could little man have done to avoid that? Like, we gotta do better," Smith said. "To see a child taken so young; I mean, my man won't even be able to see his 18th birthday, prom, graduation. There's just so much stuff... It shouldn't be at the hand of somebody else where they can't get to where they wanna get to because of a stray bullet or a shooting; whatever the case is. My heart hurts."
Smith, who is deeply religious, said he is "constantly praying" for the violence to stop. He tries to do his part by speaking with troubled youth in North Carolina in the offseason.
He hopes more awareness can be raised for tragedies like McNeal's.
"[Kids] have to see a better example so they know what to do and what not to do so they can see a brighter future," Smith said.
There are no suspects in McNeal's murder at this time. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is asking for the public's help with any leads.
Davon should be with us today. He should be doing the things 11 year old boys do and enjoying his summer with family and friends.— Muriel Bowser (@MurielBowser) July 6, 2020
Anyone with information abt this tragedy should call 202-727-9099 or text 50411 https://t.co/4x0ee4SWLQ
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