Oregon Signee Terrance Kelly Slain

ESPN – Oregon signee and De La Salle star Kelly slain

One of the nation’s best high school linebackers was shot to death two days before he was to leave his crime-ridden city for the University of Oregon on an athletic scholarship. Terrance Kelly, 18, was a star linebacker and tight end for De La Salle High School. He was shot in the driver’s seat of his car outside his brother’s home around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Richmond Police Sgt. Enos Johnson said Friday. Police found Kelly lying in the street next to his car, shot in the chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police have yet to identify a motive or any suspects, Johnson said.

Kelly was a standout at De La Salle, a Catholic school in a middle-class suburb about 20 miles east of Kelly’s east San Francisco Bay neighborhood. He never played in a losing game in his high school career. In fact, the team boasts a 151-game winning streak. Kelly was one of four de la Salle players recruited by the University of Oregon this year and was considered one of the best defensive players in the nation.

On Friday, Kelly’s friends and relatives gathered in his neighborhood, remembering him as a role model for younger children, with his desire to excel and his plans for college. “It hurts me to see it come down to this,” said Johnny Dempsey, Kelly’s cousin. “My son used to get up and see Terrence on the TV and go ‘Daddy! There goes T.K.!”‘ Flowers and balloons were placed outside the school’s red brick chapel, where Friday afternoon, instead of practice, the football team’s players and coaches held a private memorial service. A public service will be held after school is in session. “It’s a shock,” said Justin Alumbaugh, De La Salle’ linebacker and tight end coach. “He was a young man who was doing everything right. He was an inspiration, he was admired by everybody.” Bruce Shoup, De La Salle’s president and chief executive, said Kelley was a leader who “exhibited talent, intelligence and care for others besides himself.” “He will be remembered as an excellent student, good friend and inspiration for all the boys destined to follow him through school,” Shoup said. Kelly was going to leave on Saturday for Eugene, Ore., where news of his slaying hit hard. “It’s so senseless and tragic. It’s hard to explain,” said Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti. “Certainly it’s very difficult to begin the season with this type of thing. But the most important people are Terrance’s family and friends … our prayers go to them.”

Tragic.

FILED UNDER: Sports
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. R.T. Y. M. says:

    This is very sad for the entire Bay Area. Here you have a young man who is making his way out of the ghetto in a positive way and tragedy strikes. Bill Cosby said it right when he said that 50% of the young people in the ghetto disrespect life, people and themselves. The heartless individual/s who did this had no respect for human life. Thank God for the mother who made her son turn himself in for this gut wretching crime. Terrence was an example that there is something in the ghetto that’s positive. Terrence, Khadafy Washington, Horatio Lawrence, to name a few, all promising young men from the Bay Area whose life’s were taken for no apparent reason. Young black men on there way to college to make a difference to the younger residents of their enviroments. We have to turn to God and rid our neighborhoods of these type of incidents. Just because you are from a low income area does not mean that it’s okay to shoot people because you want to. People in the ghetto rise up and eliminate this element. Don’t sit back and take no action because it will happen again and again as history proves. Terrance was going to excel in college and show that the other 50% of Cosby’s statement are positive and are successful.They are somebody and they will shine on inspite of the area they are from. We also have to save the 50% that are negative and let them see that life is not about being hard and ignorant they too can have the success that Terrance had by going to school and getting an education and giving there life’s to God, not the streets. God give his family the strength to endure what lies ahead for them.

  2. Monique says:

    i’M VERY SAD, I NEVER KNEW THE YOUNG MAN BUT FROM WHAT I’VE READ AND HEARD HE WAS A GOOD KID AND HAD HIS HEAD ON RIGHT. HE KNEW WHERE HE WAS GOING AND HE WASN’T GOING TO LET ANYONE STOP HIM, BUT YOU KNOW AND I KNOW NOT ALL YOUNG PEOPLE WONT TO SEE ANOTHER YOUNG PERSON GO ANY WHERE.I PRAY FOR HIS FAMILY AND IT’S ALL IN GOD’S HANDS NOW.

  3. Jenae' says:

    I didn’t know Terrance, but I’m pretty sure he was a wonderful person. I am very sure that our days our numbered before we are put here one earth. Everything is in God’s hands. Everything always has been in God’s hands. I lost my brother about a month ago, Justin Williams, age 19, who was attending Oregon State University on a full scholarship, he died in a road rage accident. I just want Terrance’s family to know that they are not alone in this. I deeply feel their pain. And Terrance is where we all want to be. In heaven. Next to our heavenly father.