A 9-year-old East Point boy went out to play. He was fatally shot moments later

Credit: Family photo

Credit: Family photo

After spending the day at the pool with his mom, King Javier Black was ready to be outside again. The 9-year-old quickly changed out of his wet clothes to go play.

“I love you, Mom,” King said.

“I love you too, baby,” Joy Black said.

Not five minutes later, there was a knock at her front door, Black told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“King’s been shot!”

A neighbor drove her to King’s side. He was on the ground behind a home on East Washington Avenue in East Point. She held his hand and told him to hang on, remaining beside him until an ambulance arrived.

King made it through surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital but the bullet pierced his lung and a main artery and he had many internal injuries. His 65-pound body wasn’t strong enough to survive, his mother said. He died at 10:14 p.m. Saturday, several hours after being shot and nine days after finishing third grade at Hamilton E. Holmes Elementary School.

“It just crushed me,” Joy Black said. “He was a baby. He was just so sweet and so loving.”

East Point police said Wednesday the shooting is still under investigation. It was among a spate of recent such incidents in metro Atlanta.

The funeral for Bre’Asia Powell, shot to death outside Benjamin Mays High School in Atlanta on May 28, was held Saturday, the same day King was shot. She was 16. The funeral for Charles Brown, shot to death at a home in Cobb County on May 28, was Monday. He was 15. Brian Brown, 17, was fatally shot May 31 in Douglasville; four suspects have been charged with murder. He was 17.

“We keep losing our kids,” Black said.

She never imagined her young son, who loved to dance and listen to music and preferred playing outside with friends or family to playing video games indoors, would become a victim.

“I’m so grateful to have had him in my life for nine years and to be his mom and love him,” Black said. “He didn’t deserve this. No child deserves that.”

Black plans to return her son’s body to Michigan, where her family lives, for a funeral service. A GoFundMe page has been created to assist the family.

“He was just an awesome, awesome kid,” Black said. “To know him is to love him.”

King’s sweet, happy spirit shone until the end. His mother recalls what he said as he was being taken into surgery.

“Mom,” he told her, “I had the best day.”