Who was Kennedy Hobbs? Mississippi girl, 18, fatally shot thrice at gas station hours after graduation
JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI: A teenager was killed just hours after graduating from Murrah High School on Tuesday, June 1. The incident took place at 10.45pm at Texaco petrol station on Medgar Evers Boulevard near Sunset Drive, authorities said on Wednesday, June 2. Kennedy Hobbs, 18, was on her way to her high school graduation party when she was attacked. JPD received a call around 11pm. Hobbs was shot thrice and was pronounced dead at the site, officers said. The shooter fled before police arrived.
Mississippi has seen other brutal murders of teens and children in recent years. In April this year, 19-year-old Kori Gauthier's body was found in the Mississippi River. In May last year, a man brutally raped a 5-year-old before hanging her. In 2014, Jessica Chambers, also 19, was set on fire and left to burn alive. Ally Kostial, pregnant with her killer's child, was found dead with gunshot wounds to the stomach in July 2019.
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TRAGIC: Family members shared with us this photo of Kennedy Hobbs. She was killed last night in Jackson, the same day she graduated high school. https://t.co/Lo8lntlG6R pic.twitter.com/GRLjDPeeD9— WLBT 3 On Your Side (@WLBT) June 2, 2021
Who was Kennedy Hobbs?
Hobbs, 18, graduated from Murrah High School on the morning of Tuesday, June 1, Jackson Public Schools officials confirmed. Video from the event, which was live streamed on Facebook, showed her wearing a pair of gleaming silver high heels with her hair straightened behind her royal blue cap, smiling for the camera as photographers took a picture of her.
Hobbs' mother works as a middle school teacher in Jackson Public Schools, and a family member formerly served on the school board. The family is devastated, according to Hobbs' uncle William Edwards. "I've never felt this way and I'm trying to understand it, but at this point, it's hard to process," Edwards said to WAPT. A close family member said they were on the phone with Hobbs right before she was shot, and that she heard Hobbs arguing with someone and then there were gunshots.
Hobbs' boyfriend was also shot dead in a convenience shop this year, according to her family. Jaquan Williams, 21, was shot dead in April on Rose Street near Robinson Street, according to Jackson police. It's unclear whether the two incidents are connected.
UPDATE: Balloons have been placed around the pumps where Murrah High Grad Kennedy Hobbs was killed at the Texaco Gas Station along Medgar Evers Blvd. to honor her life and memories. Witnesses tell us two cars opened fire on one another hitting her multiple times in the crossfire. pic.twitter.com/4bC9SOOWfn— Alex Love (@AlexLoveWJTV) June 2, 2021
A memorial has been forming at the gas station, complete with balloons and messages. "Balloons have been placed around the pumps where Murrah High Grad Kennedy Hobbs was killed at the Texaco Gas Station along Medgar Evers Blvd. to honor her life and memories. Witnesses tell us two cars opened fire on one another hitting her multiple times in the crossfire," WJTV reporter Alex Love tweeted.
Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Dr Errick Greene said Hobbs was on everyone's mind. "To get the news this morning of the passing of one of our dear graduates, it’s tough,” he told Associated Press. “It’s really tough. And it brings into view just how important this work is that we do.”
Following the news of Hobbs' death, Greene, who always urges his students not to stop pursuing their dreams, remarked at the graduation ceremony that "it really did hit a little differently". “It was a little more timely and meaningful as I challenged them to look to the left and look to the right to realize that they may not see their classmates again,” he said, insinuating that the students will all choose various paths after graduation.
A memorial for Kennedy Hobbs is already forming at the Texaco. @WJTV pic.twitter.com/qJ9ejvKKYj— Kayla Thompson (@KThompsonTV) June 2, 2021
“The reality is, we just don’t know when our last day will be,” he continued. “And so it’s just important for us to be more smart about how we set our lives up and the way that we sow positivity and peace in the world and the community around us.”
The police have not found any motive or suspect in the shooting at this time. Anyone with information about the shooting should call the Jackson Police Department or Crimestoppers.