shaquille latimore
KSDK News/

A volunteer youth football coach who was shot four times in front of his team in St. Louis, Missouri, by a parent who was upset that his son wasn’t one of the starting players says he’s “blessed” to have survived the attack. Shaquille Latimore told KSDK, “I am a miracle. I beat the odds. A bullet hit me under my left arm, on my left forearm, my leg, and one went through my lower back and out my liver. All of the bullets went through me.”

Police have identified the parent as 43-year-old Daryl Clemmons. Latimore added, “I was hit four times and grazed once. I still have bullet fragments in my body; I can still feel it, but by the grace of God, man, I’m blessed, and I’m still here.” At the time of the attack, Latimore, a former football player at Vashon High School, volunteered as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator for a city recreational league team called the St. Louis BadBoyz. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that his cousin coaches the team.

Latimore told the publication that Clemmons had previously coached the team. He said when he joined the team as a coach, Clemmons was critical of his work. He told The Post-Dispatch, “After every game, he would try to critique me.” The relationship between them grew testy and remained tense until it erupted with the shooting.

Latimore, a married father of two daughters and three sons, said he was working with the team when he noticed Clemmons had his back turned and kept reaching into his sweatshirt pocket before he started shooting. He recalled, “I didn’t see his gun until it was already too late. I ran, and he shot me in the back. I fell, and he shot me a couple more times.” He said Clemmons stood over him and taunted him after the shooting.

He said, “After he shot me, he was like, ‘I told you I was going to pop your [expletive].'” He said other adults in the community “shielded” him from further attack from Clemmons, who ran off before later surrendering to police. Latimore told KSDK that he believes Clemmons should face more charges because “he had no remorse whatsoever.” As a result of the shooting, the City of St. Louis Recreation Division has suspended the St. Louis BadBoyz from the league.

The city said in a statement, “After a series of incidents perpetrated by adults which culminated in a shooting, the Recreation Division decided to suspend the team’s participation in the CityRec Legends Football League. League rules are in place to ensure the protection of our youth participants, ages 5 to 13, and we will continue to uphold the rules to ensure this football season is safe and successful.”

The National Association of Sports Officials conducted a recent survey of 36,000 sports officials, with 69 percent of respondents saying sportsmanship at games is worsening. Some 50 percent of the officials also said they have felt unsafe while doing their jobs, and they say parents of athletes are the biggest offenders.

More from Beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad