BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A youth football team is mourning the loss of their teammate. Birmingham Police say 5-year-old Ta’narius Moore Junior was shot and killed Saturday afternoon.
Ta’narius, known as TJ, was caught in the crossfires of a family altercation, according to the Birmingham Police. TJ’s youth league football coach said he was an outstanding player that had a bright future ahead of him.
“Just some news that you never want to receive,” said Tabios Darden.
TJ had tried out for and made the AllStar team. Practices were set to begin next week. Now parents are trying to explain to their children why TJ won’t be at those practices.
“Just trying to explain to him that he’s in a better place. And everything that we do from this point forward, football-wise, we’ll do to honor him,” said Darden.
When Darden told his son what happened, his 5-year-old was left with mixed feelings of frustration. “Sad and mad and angry,” said Lennox, TJ’s teammate.
The team practiced on Saturday morning, hours before police said TJ was shot. Parents said the loss is felt by everyone.
“It was unreal. It was as if I had lost a son myself. I know every coach, every parent, every player feels the same way. We all lost a son and a brother yesterday,” said Jeffrey Smith.
Smith said TJ pushed other kids to be better, always coming to practice with high energy.
“He had something you couldn’t teach. He had a natural ability. He was a little stronger and a little bit more aggressive than other kids so they had to acclimate to his toughness.”
The Huffman little league football team will be retiring TJ’s jersey number. Coach Darden tells us they are working on making patches for the team in TJ’s honor. On Monday, a unity walk will be Maclin Park, hosted by Birmingham City Council President William Parker and other community leaders.
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