A 15-year-old boy died Sunday, nearly a week after he was shot near Moore Square in downtown Raleigh while defending a friend, his mother said.
Shamar Leverette was a loving teenager, friendly with everyone, and especially fond of his four younger brothers, his sister and a favorite uncle, his mother Jasmine Leverette told The News & Observer in a phone call Sunday.
Shamar didn’t know the man accused of shooting him, Leverette said. Steven Mark Stanley II, 22, is being held in the Wake County jail on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and possession of a firearm by a felon.
More charges could be filed once investigators talk with the Wake County District Attorney’s Office, Raleigh police said Sunday.
N.C. Department of Corrections records showed Stanley was released in August after serving more than two years for felony breaking and entering. He had several prior convictions for robbery, larceny and drug possession. He is being held under a $1 million bond.
Investigators have not said what led to the shooting, which happened around 2:45 p.m. Oct. 23 in a gravel parking lot off Person Street, near Moore Square Magnet Middle School.
The shooting put the school into a Code Red lockdown for several minutes, officials said. Witnesses told ABC11 that they heard several gunshots in the area.
Love for music, sports and his friends
Shamar, a ninth-grader at Leesville High School, had made some friends in their neighborhood, his mother said. He loved sports, playing little league football for the North Raleigh-Wake Forest Bulldogs and shooting hoops with his friends.
Leverette recalled how she and her son would play together in the gym at the park — mom time, she said — while her mother watched his siblings. They joked just a few days before the shooting about how tall Shamar was compared to his parents, she said.
“I said, we’ve got giants in our family,” Leverette said, referring to his uncle, who is 7 foot 10 inches tall and once played professional basketball.
Music was Shamar’s other love, Leverette said. He would get pumped listening to John Cena and his favorite rappers, Justin Bieber and King Von. She recalled a video they made of him singing Bieber’s song “Baby.”
“He sounded so good, because he played the song so much, he learned the words,” Leverette said, softly singing the chorus.
He won’t get to meet his heroes now, she said, because he was shot while defending a friend.
Shamar “was like a big brother to the neighborhood,” Leverette said. “He took a lot of (them) up under his wings, because he knew how it felt to be alone.”
He also knew what it was like to be bullied, she said, noting that Shamar been dealing with his own bully in the neighborhood. She said his father, Trey Montague, who trains police dogs and works for an area coroner’s office, gave him a bulletproof vest from his car.
Shamar wasn’t wearing the vest the day he was shot, but when Stanley confronted the 12-year-old, friends said Shamar stood up for him, she said.
“He didn’t know the 22-year-old. He was just protecting his friend,” Leverette said. “Shamar got in the midst of it, trying to be the hero.”
Days crying and praying, tough choices
On Sunday afternoon, Shamar’s family made the heart-wrenching decision to pull his life support.
Shamar’s lungs had stopped working, and the doctors said he had only a few hours left, Leverette said. His family, who had been there supporting them in the days after the shooting, gathered at WakeMed Hospital to love him and tell him goodbye.
She never left his side, Leverette said, and after he passed, she struggled to stay on her feet.
“I was basically living in WakeMed since they sent him there,” she said. “I was crying and praying — not eating, not sleeping, (just) walking.”
Leverette cut and saved Shamar’s dreads to remember him by, she said. She read to him the cards that his 12-year-old sister had made for him to read when he woke up.
“When I read them to him, I cried. I couldn’t make it through the cards,” she said.
“The things that we had to see and feel, it hurts,” she said. “We just want to be by ourselves and cry alone because it hurts.”
Police continue to investigate the shooting. They ask anyone with information to call Crimestoppers at www.p3tips.com/89 or 919-996-1193. Tips can be made anonymously.