HAINES CITY (FOX 13) — A Haines City family is grieving after a youth football coach was shot and killed shortly after coaching his son’s team to victory.
Jonathan Jordan, 31, who coached his 3-year-old son’s football team, was also an aspiring rap artist and was well known in the community.
“All he wanted to do is help people. He just wanted everybody to come together and be just like a family. That was Jonathan,” said his mother, Noretha Lewis-Jordan.
And Jordan, who was killed two days shy of his 32nd birthday, loved working with kids and teaching them how to play football.
“He was like, ‘Man, I really want to work on my music and move around but I can’t do it because I love these kids, man, I love this,'” said Henry Baber, Jordan’s closest friend who also coached with him.
After his son’s team won a big game Saturday, Jordan posted a Snapchat video; the kids can be seen and heard cheering in the background, while he stares into the camera with a big grin.
Hours later, Jordan died following an argument with a family member that led to gunfire just outside Cook Field, where the games had just wrapped up. Several families were still there.
“It was all quick, like as soon as [the shooting happened], they tried to get [Jordan] in one car,” said Baber, who was still there. “It was shocking, really.”
Haines City police identified the shooter as Deryke Dennard and said he turned himself in and is cooperating. Dennard has not been charged.
“We just want the public to know that we are fully investigating it and we want everybody to know to have patience with us,” said Chief Jay Hopwood.
Lewis-Jordan said Dennard is saying he acted in self-defense, although police have not yet confirmed that and said detectives are working with the state attorney to determine whether charges will be filed.
“I know it’s family. I know [Dennard]. I’m not trying to hurt nobody, I just want justice to be done,” said Lewis-Jordan. “All those kids were out there and some of them could have gotten shot.”
Jordan, who went by the name “J Green,” has had a troubled past that included a charge for second-degree murder. His family said he’d turned his life around, had three young children and had even opened his own business.
“I know he’s in a better place,” his mother added. “We all love him, but God loves him more.”
FOX 13 called Dennard and went to his house, but his family said he does not have a comment right now.