Grant High School was reeling Friday night after two football players were shot while getting food off campus before a home game. One of the players, a senior, died.
The first-round playoff game against Beyer High School of Modesto, scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, was postponed. Athletic Director Carl Reed said he did not know when it would be rescheduled.
Senior Jaulon Clavo, a starting cornerback, died at UC Davis Medical Center after being shot in the neck, said the Rev. Tommie Williams, the unofficial team pastor and statistician for 25 years. Senior fullback Malik Johnson was taken to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center on Morse Avenue after being shot in an arm. His wounds are not considered life-threatening, said Sgt. Bryce Heinlein, a Sacramento Police Department spokesman.
Williams, who spoke by phone from the Kaiser hospital, said Clavo and Johnson were with three other varsity players in a car at a three-way stop when they were shot. He said they had gone off campus to get something to eat and were on their way back to school when the shooting occurred. They continued to Grant High to get help.
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Heinlein said the shooting took place at 3:45 p.m. near Silver Eagle Road and Mabel Street, about a mile away from the Grant campus. He said it is unknown if the shooters were on foot or in a car.
“This type of violence is incomprehensible in our community, and we’re not to going to stand for it,” Heinlein said. “Nobody in our community deserves this, and it’s not going to be tolerated by our Police Department.”
The fatal shooting also shocked Williams.
“No one knows who (did this) or no one knows why this happened,” Williams said. “It’s so sad because these were not troubled kids, they’re good kids who went to get something to eat off campus and this happens.”
Throngs of parents and students gathered at the high school, many of them weeping. Members of the football team and students who were on campus preparing to watch the playoff game were inside the gymnasium waiting for their parents to pick them up. Police were stationed outside.
David Clark, a 1978 Grant graduate, walking past the school, said, “Something is wrong. Something needs to be addressed.”
Sheila Maddox was waiting outside the gym for her son Christian Rodriguez, who played football for the Grant Pacers for two years but is not on the team this year. Maddox said she heard that something had happened near Grant High and called her son. He told her he came out of the gym and saw one of the victims fall out of the car. Maddox said her son told her, “He’s gone.”
Maddox was relieved to know her own son was all right. “I’m OK, because I know he’s OK,” she said.
Williams, the pastor, bemoaned the “senseless shooting and killings everywhere,” including the Paris attacks Friday and the shooting of the Grant players.
“We’ll come together as a community and a school and football team,” he said. “But oh my gosh, this is incredible. This was supposed to be a night to celebrate a football game and the playoffs.”
Hundreds gave their condolences for Jaulon Clavo on social media Friday, calling him “the flyest” and offering prayers. Family and friends, including fellow Pacers members, lamented the loss of such a young player. Clavo and fellow Pacer Johnson, who was injured in the shooting, are pictured together in at least one Facebook picture.
“Lord knows how much I love y’all,” read a post from Derek Franklin, 17, as news of the accident was unfolding. “Please pull through please my heart can't take any more losses please.”
Steven Martinez, superintendent of the Twin Rivers Unified School District, issued a written statement saying, “We are deeply saddened that while driving through a north Sacramento neighborhood this afternoon, students from Grant Union High School were victims of a shooting. The students, seeking safety, immediately drove to Grant Union High School. Grant staff responded immediately to students’ needs and secured emergency services for the injured students.”
Martinez and Heinlein urged anyone with information about the shooting to contact the Sacramento Police Department.
Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy
The Bee’s Sammy Caiola contributed to this report.