TAMPA, Fla. -- A man upset that his son was being bullied fired several shots into a crowd of teenagers, killing a 14-year-old bystander who had hoped to play with the other boy, police said.
Jabbar Anthony died Wednesday night after being shot in the chest. Witnesses said he collapsed across the street from his home and was held by his grieving mother as he gasped for air. He died at a hospital.
Tyron Williams, 46, was charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child and was being held without bail. "It had to be an accident," said his uncle, Excell Williams.
Jabbar and his younger brother, 11-year-old Shabazz, had played with Williams' son, Tyron, earlier Wednesday. They walked the few blocks to their friend's house to play some more, but some other boys had gathered outside.
The senior Williams told everyone to leave, but some of the other boys stared at him, witnesses said. When they walked off, Williams jumped in his car and sped after them. Shabazz and Jabbar started walking home, only to come upon the group in the middle of a confrontation.
Witnesses said Williams pulled a gun from his pocket and started firing when a couple of the boys tried to intimidate him.
"Jabbar is frozen on the fence watching this guy shooting," said the boy's stepfather, Caleb Talbert.
Talbert said he and his wife were just putting out plates for dinner when they heard several shots.
Talbert said he and his wife, Madeline Clayton, ran outside and found Jabbar lying on the ground, gasping and saying, "I'm going to die, mom."
She "held his hand, she was telling him to hang on," Talbert said. "The life was just draining out of him."
Talbert said his wife ran in front of Williams' car when he tried to drive away and wouldn't let him leave. Williams himself called 911.
"He said 'I'm sorry, I made a mistake,"' Talbert said.
Earlier Wednesday, Jabbar was singled out by a teacher after he took the state's standardized exam.
"She could tell he had really tried on the test," said Clyde Trathowen, principal of Memorial Middle School. "She could see he wanted to do his very best on it. And I gave him a hug and said, 'Way to go."'
Talbert said his stepson wanted to open his own radio repair shop when he got older. He said the death makes no sense.
"He was just trying to come home," Talbert said. "He was almost home."