15-year-old arrested in connection with fatal shooting of North Miami High quarterback

A 17-year-old was killed in a Miami-Dade shooting, police said. North Miami High football coach Gerald Cox identified the teen as quarterback Mekhi Stevenson.

A 15-year-old has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a North Miami High School quarterback.

The Miami Gardens teenager was arrested on charges of manslaughter, possession of a firearm by a minor, improperly exhibiting a firearm and was taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center, Miami-Dade police announced Wednesday morning.

The Miami Herald is not naming the teen because he’s a minor and it’s not clear if he will be charged as an adult in the killing of Mekhi Stevenson, 17.

The shooting happened around 1 p.m. inside a home in the area of 160 Sierra Dr. in Miami-Dade County, where Mekhi Stevenson and his brother were inside a bedroom with four friends, Miami-Dade police said.

The arrested teen took out a semi-automatic gun and started pointing it at others in the room and at the walls, according to his arrest affidavit. He also removed and reinserted the magazine into the gun.

Stevenson’s younger brother looked at the gun, told the 15-year-old it was loaded and asked him to “stop playing around with the firearm and put it away,” the affidavit states.

The 15-year-old teen “pulled the slide back partially to check and then stated that it wasn’t loaded because it didn’t eject a cartridge,” according to the affidavit. He continued to wave the gun around recklessly, pointed it at Stevenson “and intentionally pulled the trigger once,” police wrote in the affidavit.

Stevenson, a junior at North Miami High, was shot in the chest. He ran to another room, collapsed and died, police said. Witnesses also told detectives they saw several people running from the scene. The 15-year-old was later found at his home and was taken to Miami-Dade police headquarters, where he invoked his right to counsel.

Stevenson’s friends and family gathered to mourn outside Sierra Park into the evening Tuesday. Loud sobs could be heard from mourners standing along the park, just after the medical examiner’s truck drove by and again as the teen’s body was lifted into the truck.

Just before 8 p.m., police took down the caution tape that closed part of Sierra Drive.

Loved football

Stevenson displayed a clear love of the sport. He posted many of his game highlights and boosted his teammates on his social platforms.

“He was a charismatic man, just a goofy little kid, a typical teenager,” North Miami football coach Gerald Cox said. “You know he’s a knucklehead, just like everybody else, but just like I love the rest of them, I love him, too.”

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He played seven games this season, taking the team to the playoffs. The Pioneers lost against Homestead Senior High School in its first game.

“He had a good year, a good summer going into it,” Cox said. “We were just starting to kick off our off-season with them.”

Cox was in the middle of teaching his geometry class when Stevenson’s mother called him with the news of her son’s death. He dropped everything and rushed to the house.

Coach grapples with tragedy

Cox said this is the third time he has had to deal with a former or current player hurt or killed in gun violence in the past six months. He said two died and one survived.

“I don’t know what’s gonna happen next,” Cox said. “I don’t know anything. I haven’t even had a chance to even sit down and make this make sense right now.”

He is making sure he’s there for Stevenson’s family.

“You know, whatever the family wants from myself, my coaching staff and my programs, that’s what we’re gonna do,” Cox said. “So as always, I’m always gonna have my parents’ back. I always have my kids’ backs.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.