DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – On the football field, Christian Dawson, 19, had a reputation for athleticism and versatility.
“He was one of those guys who could come take your spot away from you. You had to buckle down and make sure you were doing your job when Christian was around,” says Reggie Evans playfully. The 2015 Hebron High School alumnus played high school football with Dawson.
But friends say it’s Dawson’s character he’s most remembered for.
“Christian was a loving and caring person who put others before himself,” says Jameson Cooper, a longtime friend and teammate.
Both attended Langston University in Oklahoma before Cooper recently transferred.
“He was all about doing what is best for the team; a real positive young man,” says Brian Brazile, Hebron High School’s head football coach.
Dawson was in North Texas for holiday break. On New Year’s Eve, he and his close group of high school friends — many of them former football players — headed to the Azure Banquet Hall in Dallas for a party.
“We were dancing, having a good time, sharing those moments with each other, and then we heard like a pop,” Cooper says.
At first, Coopers says he though it was a balloon popping, but soon realized it was gunfire.
“We heard another one. It seemed kind of close,” he explains.
Bullets shot out windows of the second floor banquet hall. Others wound up lodged in the walls of a first floor business.
“It was about 300 to 400 people trying to get out of two exits. It was madness,” Cooper describes.
All the friends, except for Dawson managed to make it out unharmed. The teen was rushed to the hospital where he died.
“It’s a challenge to us, what kind of difference we can make. Hopefully we can be a Christian Dawson type person,” says Coach Brazile.
Dallas Police have not made any arrests. They are asking anyone with information to contact the Dallas Police Homicide Unit at 214.671.3682 or Detective Walton at 214.671.3632.
Other patrons at the banquet hall were injured but are expected to be ok.
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