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Mom speaks out about beloved son, high school football player's shooting death

Elijah DeWitt, 18, was found shot and killed outside the Dave & Buster's in Lawrenceville. Elijah's mom, Dawn, described her son as the most down-to-earth guy.

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Elijah DeWitt's mom said her son was a gentle giant taken too soon. The 18-year-old was gunned down Wednesday night 50 feet outside the Dave & Buster's at the Sugarloaf Mills Mall in Lawrenceville. 

A suspect – Chandler Zion Richardson, 19, is in custody in Anderson County, South Carolina, according to the sheriff. 

Elijah's mom Dawn DeWitt is a strong woman, but her heart is broken.

Dawn said while Elijah was a giant on the football field at Jefferson High School, he was the most down-to-earth guy with dreams to play college football – a dream cut short by one senseless act. 

RELATED: 'Heartbroken' | 18-year-old killed outside Gwinnett mall was star high school football player, coach says

At 6-foot 2-inches tall and 190 pounds, Elijah was hard to miss on the football field. He was a star wide receiver at Jefferson High School, and he wanted to soon take the next step to play football at the collegiate level.

"He really just encompassed that dream and nothing seemed to ever stand in his way," Dawn said. 

It seemed like nothing could stand in Elijah's way – Dawn said he already had a couple offers and was set to visit the University of Georgia this weekend. 

"He loved football, he was ready and willing to do whatever it takes to go D1, that was his ultimate goal," Dawn said. 

A goal that Elijah will never get the chance to accomplish. 

"He was very tender and he loved people," Dawn said. "Elijah was the kindest soul." 

Dawn said it's so hard to wrap her head around why anyone would want to kill him. She was so proud to be his mom for just 18 short years. 

"He was so full of life and love and he was courageous," she said. "It really was a privilege to be a part of the journey and I really wish I could just have it back."

Elijah was killed on his dad's birthday.

A GoFundMe has been set up by Elijah's family in his honor, and all proceeds will go to his family as they mourn his death. Those who want to donate can do so here


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