ORLANDO, Fla. - Within seconds, the lives of two young people with promising futures changed forever.
Tavyiah King, 16, a popular honor student, dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. Jacarious Simpson, 18, was set to graduate high school and accept a football scholarship and go to college, a dream for both he and his mom.
King is now dead and Simpson is charged with her murder.
"There’s no win. There’s loss. Two families hurting are broken," said Bishop Kelvin Cobaris.
Bishop Cobaris is still shaken from delivering the 16-year-old’s eulogy.
"To have to view her remains. Her (sic) laid away in her prom dress. Just… it broke my heart," Bishop Cobaris said.
Tavyiah King’s friends called her TT. She’d gotten a ride home after attending her first high school party when Orlando police say she was hit by crossfire in a shooting that detectives say was gang-related.
Investigators arrested Jacarious Simpson in this case, charging him with third-degree murder and attempted murder.
No one is more surprised by this arrest than his own mother, Sheena Simpson.
"He’s a football player. You all have him all over the news saying he’s a murderer. That’s not even the case. It’s very shocking," Sheena Simpson told FOX 35 News in an exclusive interview. "He doesn’t have a rap sheet. I’m pretty sure you already did that and didn’t find anything because he’s not that kind of kid. You didn’t see any previous charges."
She says her son is about to graduate high school, earned a spot on the Shrine Bowl High School Classic team, and received a football scholarship for the fall of 2022 from Bluefield University. Those are all things TT’s aunt, Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill, was surprised to learn.
"Its’ devastating. I’m sure for his family also. A gifted kid, special talents… My heart goes out to that family also," Commissioner Hill said.
With the school year ending and summer break about to start, Bishop Cobaris has a message for young people.
"I hope some young person listens. Let this be a lesson to you. Gun violence is not a game. This is not a video game," Bishop Cobaris said. "When a life is taken, you can hit reset and the game starts over."
Jacarious Simpson’s arrest affidavit and warrant are still sealed, so the exact details of what happened and what he's accused of doing early May 2 leading up to TT King’s murder are unknown.
Orlando police say it is still looking for another suspect in the teen’s murder.