Whitehaven football player killed in Memphis shooting

Whitehaven football player killed in Memphis shooting

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Whitehaven High School football player died Thursday in a shooting at a Memphis gas station.

Coach Rodney Saulsberry confirmed to WMC Action News 5 Friday Demetrius Robinson died in the shooting on Elvis Presley Boulevard. Robinson was a senior on the Tigers football team.

Officers responded to the shooting at the Marathon gas station around 4 p.m. Thursday where Robinson died at the scene. Police are still searching for the suspects, last seen in a Black Infiniti driving away from the gas station.

MPD said the investigation is ongoing.

Soloman Estifanos was working the register when the shooting happened and said he didn’t notice any type of fight outside before hearing gunfire.

“Gunshot, I hear the sound,” he said. “I was inside, so when I turn around the guy is down. I call police, the police come right away.”

Estifanos said the store has a surveillance system and MPD reviewed the tape, but he was unsure how much the cameras captured because the shooting happened in the corner of the store’s lot.

Community activist Stevie Moore placed signs with his crime tip line number around the scene Thursday and was back Friday putting out additional signs, hoping to drum up leads for authorities.

“I’m trying to get to these scenes when it happened, because somebody saw something. Somebody knows who did it,” he said.

Moore worries the freeze on athletics for inner city youth amid the pandemic opens up more chances for negative influences.

“It was already tough. This just made it tougher,” he said.

Coach Saulsberry declined an interview with WMC Action News 5 Friday, saying he wanted to meet with his team, and it was important to keep them engaged.

Robinson wore No. 99 for the Tigers and played outside linebacker and defensive end.

Robinson’s coach and teammates mourned him in social media posts.

Wish you would’ve made it out 💯

Posted by Martavius French on Thursday, September 3, 2020

Shelby County Schools told WMC Action News 5 on Friday grief counselors will be helping students and staff at Whitehaven High. The district started the school year Monday virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Shelby County Schools is aware of the tragic death of a Whitehaven High School football player on Thursday; however, we are unable to share any personal details. Grief counselors will be reaching out to support students and staff at Whitehaven High School. Our Student, Family, and Community Engagement team is working with the student’s family and school to help coordinate social-emotional supports. We share our deepest condolences with the family during this difficult time,” wrote a spokesperson for the district.

The Shelby County Schools Board of Education released a statement Friday afternoon, saying they grieve alongside families, students and staff.

“To stand beside a family in pain and simply offer condolences is heartbreaking because we cannot take the hurt away,” reads the statement.

The board goes on to address violence in Memphis, saying they and the district “work tirelessly to intervene and support students in need.”

Staff at Whitehaven High School created a fundraiser to help with Robinson’s funeral expenses. You can donate here.

This is the city’s 183 murder of the year according to MPD, and it is early September. The city set a record for homicides back in 2016 with 228.

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