The number of young, urban males who have lost their lives to the exorbitantly-priced Jordan sneaker line continues to astound. This past weekend, another victim has surfaced as a Washington-area teen was shot and killed this week because of his brand-new, bright-red Nike Air Jordans, his mom and police believe.
According to the Washington Post, James Anthony Smith, 17, had desperately wanted the shoes for Christmas, and so his mother paid $220 for the coveted shoes and gave the 17-year-old his Christmas gift early.
James was a sophomore at Ballou High School, and only wore the coveted shoes for four days before he was shot on a basketball court at the Frederick Douglass Community Center on Monday evening. James was found a block away, on the street with his shoes missing. This made his mother, Benita Smith, believe that whoever attacked her son did so for the sneakers. However, some opportunistic individual or crew, knowing that James Smith had passed, could have also taken the sneakers after the shooters vacated the area.
“He was an all-American kid,” Benita Smith told the Washington Post. “He loved his red shoes. He loved basketball. He loved his computer games. … I can’t believe he was killed, all over a pair of shoes.”
The shooter, Benita Smith said, “just wasted another person’s life as well as his own.”
Detectives are inclined to believe James’ death may be related to a robbery, Police Chief Peter Newsham noted, but said that the investigation was ongoing. There are no arrests nor strong leads at his time, Newsham added.
Among Smith’s life loves were Spanish classes; he was working to improve his grade. His mother gave him his Christmas gift early “because he asked and he’s a good kid.”
Before he left to go to the court on Monday, Smith said that her son “told me he loved me.”
The Post reported that District Council Member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) consoled Smith and will ask the city for more resources to combat crime in the area.
White also implored the community to help put an end to such senseless killings.
“We need some new re-education as to how we should act as a people,” White said, according to the Post. “We shouldn’t devalue ourselves to an Air Jordan.”