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.
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.
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.”
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.
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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