2 Suspects Charged in Death of Tenn. Teen Who Protected Friends From Gunfire

Christopher Bassett and Richard Williams face multiple charges, including murder, in the December 2015 shooting that killed 15-year-old Zaevion William Dobson in Knoxville, Tenn.
Knoxville, Tenn., Police Department via CNN

Two suspects have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Zaevion William Dobson, a Tennessee high schooler who jumped on top of his friends and shielded them from gunfire, saving their lives, CNN reports.

Christopher Bassett and Richard Williams both face multiple other charges, including the attempted murder of eight other people, and are being held on $1 million bond, Knox County, Tenn., District Attorney Charme Allen said at a news conference.

Zaevion William Dobson

According to the report, Zaevion and his friends were sitting on the front porch of a relative's house in December 2015 when the suspects approached.

"We were only there for like 15 minutes. We were just sitting there talking and laughing, and next thing you know, it's like a couple of guys … they walk, they just stop, and they stand for a while and we're all trying to figure out, like, what's going on, what they're doing, who they are. They started shooting," 17-year-old Faith Gordon, one of the teens who was saved by Zaevion, told the CNN affiliate WATE, according to the report.

Zaevion, a 15-year-old sophomore high school football player, launched himself on top of his friends, protecting three girls who were not injured in the tragic incident.


As CNN notes, Zaevion's final selfless act had him hailed as a hero. President Barack Obama tweeted shortly after the teen's death, dubbing him "a hero at 15." He was posthumously awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2016 ESPYs, the network notes.

Read more at CNN.

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