The Glynn County Police Department has ruled the shooting death of a 17-year-old high school athlete accidental.
Xantavian ‘Tae’ Pierce was a junior at Brunswick High School where he played basketball and football.
On Sunday, the teen was shot and killed at the Eagles Pointe Apartment Complex.
I spoke to a woman who lives at the apartment complex where Tae was killed. She said the 17 y/o was helping a couple move. She said the box he was carrying had a gun in it and accidentally went off. Police would not confirm that information. @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/e2pFdFCegF— Christy Turner (@ChristyANJax) March 26, 2018
His family said he was helping a relative move when a gun went off inside the box he was carrying. Tae was shot in the abdomen and passed away.
Action News Jax spoke exclusively to the teen’s family, coaches and teammates.
Charessa Pierce said her son was a wonderful son, sibling and athlete.
“I am a very proud mom,” Pierce said. “He was pushing towards his goal to be somebody, to get somewhere.”
She said her son’s dream was to play sports in college and study to become an accountant.
I asked the Glynn County Police Department if charges could be filed against the person who owns the gun. They tell me they cannot comment on that right now. @ActionNewsJax— Christy Turner (@ChristyANJax) March 26, 2018
The teen’s football coach said he was being recruited heavily by Division 1 teams and had what it took to get to the next level.
“He had a lot of passion,” Pender said. “He knew he was going to have a future in football and he enjoyed that.”
"That's who we're going to do it for from now on, Tae." His recent and former teammates say every time they step on the court or field they will play with purpose. @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/HvRmXUehGX— Christy Turner (@ChristyANJax) March 26, 2018
Both his basketball coach and football coach said he was the ultimate teammate.
“He enjoyed his teammates. He was just one of those players that he always put his teammates first.” Coach Pender said.
Joel Hicks, one of Tae’s former teammates, said his positive attitude was infectious and he constantly pushed players to get better.
“Everybody loved Tae,” Hicks said. “He took whatever situation he could and made it better.”
Hicks said the next time they step on a court or field, they will be playing with purpose.
“That's who we're going to do it for from now on, Tae,” Hicks said.
He said students have taken it upon themselves to make sure Tae is remembered. He said a prayer vigil will be held at some point later this week. @ActionNewsJax— Christy Turner (@ChristyANJax) March 26, 2018
A vigil will be held this Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Sheldon Park. The family said the public is welcome to attend.
On Thursday, students will hold a student-faculty basketball game at the school to honor Tae. All of the proceeds will be donated to Tae’s family.
The teen’s funeral is set for April 7.
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