BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A shooting Saturday evening (Feb. 8) outside the Mall of Louisiana sent 17-year-old Gyron LeBeuf to the hospital, where he later died.
LeBeuf was an aspiring athlete and musician. He played basketball on Jabar Triplett’s BREC league team since he was 11.
“What I saw was a kid that was just determined to win,” Triplett said. “He wanted to win. He was determined to win. He always played hard, even during practice and it showed during the game because he was out hustling a lot of the players, able to get easy baskets and steals.”
Online and in his music, LeBeuf was a different character from the nice, hardworking teenager Triplett described. He went by the name Gyron Bang and posted several pictures of him holding guns.
Despite that image, Triplett says he was a good kid.
"Funny kid, always smiling, laughing. Loved to play and clown around,” he said.
LeBeuf was killed Saturday, Feb. 8 while he was going to the mall to get his mom a birthday present. The family was celebrating that evening.
Police have not released many details, only saying that the case is under investigation.
"I was in shock that it had happened, and you know I just didn't know at the moment what to tell his mom because I understood that this kid ain't getting a second chance at life,” he said. “Like he isn't coming back home."
Triplett says this senseless violence should have been prevented.
"There’s something better that you could be doing with your time and it’s a better way to solve our problems,” Triplett said. “Violence is not the way to solve problems. You know this gun violence has to stop in Baton Rouge. It’s getting out of hand. Fights over fights and you kill someone. No one’s life is worth a fight.”
LeBeuf was a junior at EBR Readiness Superintendent Academy. Grief counselors are on standby this week to help students cope with the loss.