ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Arlington Police say cell phone video may help them identify teens responsible for the deadly shooting Thursday afternoon of a high school football player that also injured two others.
The shooting death of 17-year-old Tony Strather in a neighborhood across from Bowie High School has devastated his family, friends and students there.
Strather’s grandfather, Lawrence Smith, told CBS 11 he was very caring. “He was a really good kid. Loved his family, loved his grandfather, his grandmother, mother and father and extended family.”
He says Strather was very close to his younger brother who also attends Bowie High School.
Strather is on the football team here and his family says he was one of the best defensive ends in Tarrant County.
Police say he was shot in the shoulder and abdomen while trying to break up a fight between his friend and a group of six to ten other teens.
He died of his injuries at a local hospital.
Arlington Police say the second teen shot, also a Bowie High School student, is in a medically induced coma after a serious leg injury.
The third person shot was sitting at his computer inside his house.
He has been released.
Arlington Police say another teen had recorded cell phone video of the fight and while it doesn’t show the shooting, they can hear it.
They believe this video will lead them to those responsible.
Arlington Police Lt. Christopher Cook said, “We’re optimistic. As we speak, we’re meeting with the school district to have coaches and administrators look at it to see if they can point out who is in the video. The next step will be to find those kids and bring them in for questioning.”
If not, he says the department will release the video to the public so they can help identify the teens.
Bowie High School’s football game against Trimble Tech at Clark Stadium in Fort Worth went on as scheduled.
In a statement, Bowie High School Head Football Coach Danny DeArman said, “We are absolutely heartbroken to have lost a best friend, loving brother and loyal teammate in Tony Strather. We are hurting as a Bowie family, and, as we grieve as a team, we will take the field tonight and play in honor of Tony.”
There will be a candlelight vigil Saturday at Bowie High School starting at 6:00 p.m.
Police say Strather participated in a special youth mentoring program in which Arlington police officers partner with coaches and football teams to teach student athletes to be responsible adults and how to be compassionate.
Smith says as a disabled veteran he has mentored teens as well. “You have guns all over the place and I think this is a message to all parents that we need to start policing this in regard to our kids and making sure they’re in a good situation they don’t end up like my grandson ended up.”