LA: Young ‘rising star’ in basketball, 14, murdered in cold blood (yet city still defunding the police)


Compton, California – A community in California is saddened by the murder of a 14-year-old boy who was poised to be the next rising star in basketball. Those close to the young man are trying to cope his loss, since he was gunned down in South Los Angeles back on July 29th.

Police have still not identified any suspects in the shooting of Semaj Miller, with the 6’6 14-year-old having been eyed by numerous high schools throughout his area, in hopes of having him join the school and share his talents with their respective basketball teams.

Derrick Cooper, who was Miller’s former youth coach and serves as the president of the L.A. City Wildcats Youth Academy, was close to Miller when the boy was proving to be a standout talent at the basketball program, headed by the Wildcats.

Cooper noted that this isn’t the first time that one of his players fell victim to the violence in the city, but this time things were different:

“I’ve had to bury several of my L.A. City Wildcat kids over the years but this a little bit more personal. He was the youngest kid I’ve ever had to get involved to make sure he’s laid to rest properly.”

Miller didn’t even have an opportunity to start high school before his murder, where he was slated to start attending Compton High School in the next month. Compton High School Coach Tony Thomas mentioned how much determination Miller had when it came to playing:

“He would ride his bike 10 miles to come play basketball. 10 miles and 10 miles back, as a 14-year-old. His bike got a flat, he walked 10 miles to go play.”

Outside of being a remarkable basketball player, Cooper stated that Miller was also a remarkable mentor for younger players in the area as well:

“He was a good role model for our younger kids. We’ve got little ones that are five and six. He would catch the bus to their games and coach them.”

Compton Mayor Aja Brown stated that a vigil is planned in memory of Miller, which is slated to occur on August 6th, outside City Hall with hundreds expected to attend.

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Unfortunately, Miller is one of many children that have been murdered in the recent months across the nation.

A seven-year-old girl was recently taken off of life-support, after a drive-by shooting in a Miami residential area left the young girl brain-dead from a gun shot wound to the head.

The shooting that brought about the young girl being declared as such, and taken off of life-support also resulted in two adults and a 16-month old toddler being shot.

Police say that the shooting in question took place on the evening of July 25th, in the Brownsville neighborhood. Doctors removed seven-year-old Alana Washington from life-support on July 27th. The toddler, identified as Alto Jacobs III, was said to have been shot in the thigh during the drive-by.

Luckily, the 16-month-old is reportedly in stable condition after the shooting.

The two children were both struck by the gunfire while they were actively exiting a parked vehicle outside of a home in the residential neighborhood. Details on the shooting is limited, but police say that a vehicle passed by the parked car and unleashed over a dozen rounds towards the car and residence.

A male subject inside of the residence, was reported as having returned fire at the suspect’s vehicle.

The two adults struck with gunfire were said to be a 23-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man. Those two victims sustained wounds to the shoulder, torso and neck reportedly.

Additionally, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle took to Twitter to air her disgust with regard to the senseless violence that harmed children in Miami:

“To leave blood on our streets, particularly the blood of innocent young children, should outrage every resident [in Dade County]. My prosecutors & your police were on scene through the night gathering clues & information & need our community’s help to bring the shooters in.”

“The million eyes of our community’s residents may have seen something that could provide an essential identifying clue. Please come forward and say something. You may become an important lifesaver with just a few words.”

A witness to the shooting noted that they heard numerous shots, and immediately ran to help the four victims who were shot:

“I just seen the victim on the ground and I just ran to help. I just tried to stop the blood.”

There’s currently no information available on possible suspects involved in the shooting that took place on the 25th. Miami-Dade Commission Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson did announce that there is a $10,000 reward for any information that can lead to an arrest of the people involved in the drive-by.


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