Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Ellitt is paying for the funeral expenses of promising eight-grade football player Jaylon McKenzie, who was killed by a stray bullet as he left a party near St. Louis, Missouri on Saturday night, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer.
Elliott grew up in St. Louis, and wanted to keep the matter between him and the McKenzie family.
“Zeke is really a special guy,” coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday. “He’s a great football player obviously, but he’s a really good person and that doesn’t surprise me one bit.
McKenzie’s mother, Sukeena Gunner, said that her son was trying to leave a party in Venice, Illinois, when a fight broke out. Illinois State Police say that McKenzie was struck by a stray bullet and passed away at a local hospital.
“He’s just very generous. He’s got a great spirit about him. We see that every day as players and coaches. Anybody that’s been around him knows that, and it doesn’t surprise me one bit that he would get involved there. He’s someone that a lot of people look up to, a lot of people certainly in St. Louis and Missouri, Ohio State, all across the country. If you’re a fan of football, you know Zeke Elliott, and anybody who’s been around him on a daily basis knows what kind of person he is.”
McKenzie was a stand out running back and had already received college scholarship offers in 8th grade. He was selected to compete in the All-America All-Star Game in Canton, Ohio during the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend.
A 15-year old girl, who was also hit, remains in critical condition.