CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A Harding University High School football player was murdered early Sunday. His sisters are defending the accused killer believing what happened was an accident.
"They got a little to carried away I guess. It was probably playing around, goofing around," said Tynisha Bright, the sister of Jamie Bright, 18, who was shot to death. "It [the gun] went off. They don't know nothing about guns 'cause they're not them type of boys."
Police were called to the high school senior's home on Clanton Drive in the Westover Division just after 1:00 am. Bright was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. He had been shot to death but a report does not indicate how many times or where.
The accused gunman, Jermarion Worthy, 17, stayed at the scene and was charged with murder. Bright's sisters say Worthy and their brother were very close, like "two peas in a pod," and had no known issues with each other.
"It's just too heartbreaking right now 'cause I love my brother to death. I really do," said Tynisha. "My mom said that was her golden child and we believe that. He was the golden child. I love my brother."
Bright's family were in Myrtle Beach when the shooting occurred.
It is unclear who owned the gun.
"My grandson was a good boy," his grandmother said, her emotions still raw, hours after the murder. "He did good. He did wonderful things. And he had a lot of life to live."
"I don't give a damn if it was an accident or not," she added. "He's gone. He ain't coming back."
Bright was a defensive lineman at Harding University High School. Last year, his team won its first state championship in more than 60 years. Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis donated $20,000 to pay for the team's championship rings after the school couldn't afford them.
Bright's other sister, Mardesha, clutched the box containing the ring. The inscription inside reads below a cross: "They buried us, What they failed to realize is we are SEEDS. #WatchUsGrow."
"My brother is a legend," said Mardesha. "He'll always be remembered."
Family describe the teen as goofy, quiet, who kept to himself and kept his friends close. He loved football and just started a job working in a garden.
He was also excited for prom.
"My brother was so ready for prom," said Tynisha, crying. "My brother wanted to go to prom with me last year, my senior year, and I went by myself. If I knew my brother would never go to prom I would have taken my brother wish me."
This is the 29th murder of the year in Charlotte.
"If there's a lesson learned for kids out there: Don't be playing with guns while your parents aren't there," said Mardesha. "'Cause you never know what might happen. You might lose a friend, cousin, you never know."
Anyone with information is urged to call CMPD at (704) 423-TIPS or Crime Stoppers at (704) 334-1600.