In what police called "a random act of 'I want something that person has and I am going to take it from them," a black teenager was shot and killed after attempting to rob a man of his $200 Air Jordans. After being unable to purchase the 'limited edition' shoes, 16-year-old Jawad "JJ" Jabar and 2 other Middletown, Ohio schoolmates, brandished a firearm at a man (of unknown color) who had just bought a pair. The man, who had a valid concealed carry permit, shot once and killed Jawad. Since the dead black teenager was not killed by a white policeman, we doubt there will be any protests, Al Sharpton commentary, or mainstream media blitz.
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Family, friends and school officials painted a different picture Monday than the troubled past of a 16-year-old Middletown High School student who was shot and killed Saturday while trying to rob a man of the tennis shoes he purchased.
Police said the fatal shooting of Jawaad “JJ” Jabbar happened after a limited release of Air Jordans at the Dayton Mall in Miami Twp. They said three Middletown juveniles, including Jawaad, were unable to purchase the $200 gym shoes so they attempted to rob a man who had just bought a pair. One of the juveniles displayed a firearm outside the mall, and the man they attempted to rob shot once and killed Jawaad, police said. The man had a valid concealed carry permit through Ohio, police said.
No one has been formally charged, but the two other juveniles involved in the attempted robbery are in custody, police said.
All three of the teens are students at MHS, school officials said.
Jawaad’s father, Wallace Jabbar, when contacted Monday night by phone, was hesitant to talk about the shooting, but said he was “obviously devastated” by his son’s death. He was out of town working, he said, then his phone went dead.
One of the MHS students there at the time of the mall shooting was cited for a misdemeanor charge in April 2013 for bringing what officers thought was a handgun to the high school. The school resource officer was told the teen was in possession of a gun, but further investigation indicated it was a pellet gun that resembled a semi-automatic handgun, according to police.
In May 2012, the other teen was given a criminal summons by police after being involved, along with two other boys, in a disturbance in the Dollar Store on North University. They were asked by the store manager to leave the day before because they caused a disturbance, but returned to the store, began cursing at the store manager and throwing a bottle that hit two patrons, according to the police report.
This newspaper is not naming the other two teens pending formal charges possibly being filed.
Jawaad moved to the Middletown City Schools District from Columbus earlier this school year, and was a sophomore on the football team, school officials said. Earlier this year, he was charged with petty theft for allegedly stealing Pop Tarts, two plates of fried chicken, a Snickers bar and a plate of sushi from Kroger, 3420 Towne Blvd., according to Middletown police reports obtained by this newspaper. Two other juveniles and MHS football players were charged with petty theft, according to police reports.
Jawaad also was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly punching a Hamilton High School student at a basketball game, and he was in possession of a “small baggie of marijuana,” while at school, according to police reports.
The Rev. Michael Bailey, pastor at Faith United Church and linkage coordinator at MHS, said Jawaad has been suspended at least twice for his actions. Bailey said he was “blown away” when he heard Jawaad, a soft-spoken student, was allegedly involved in an attempted robbery over a pair of tennis shoes.
“How did I miss this?” Bailey asked. “I never saw this coming.”
He said losing a life over a pair of shoes shows how materialistic our society has become.
“It’s like, ‘I got mine. What about you?’” Bailey said.
Ladonna Matthers, one of Jawaad’s cousin, spoke with his father about the deadly shooting.
“He’s very heartbroken; it’s tragic,” said Matthers, who said Wallace Jabbar was out of town working on Monday. “This is very unfortunate. He’s very polite and well mannered, he likes video games…a good kid. Unfortunately, he got caught up in something that ended his life.”
Matthers said she never knew Jawaad was involved in criminal incidents.
“Very surprised to hear about this,” said Matthers. “Regardless like I said of anybody’s past or anything he’s a 16-year-old child.”
She said Jabbar’s father often worked long hours to provide for his family. “It’s important we keep a hold of our youth, because he’s not the only one, so many around here that has died over drugs or money or trivial (things) they have no opportunity so they get lost in other things.”
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Just another innocent black male trying to get his life on track tragically shot down in the prime of his life by a shopper selfishly trying to take the last pair of Air Jordan's (What has this world come to)? If only Al Sharpton had been there to mentor this young pillar of the community.