DES MOINES, Iowa — The families of 16-year-old Rashad Carr and 18-year-old Gionni Dameron will lay them to rest this week after they were killed in the Starts Right Here education center shooting. Carr’s youth football coach hopes the community makes more moves to protect Des Moines’ children after their deaths.
“There’s not supposed to be any parents burying their kids,” said Garrette Boone, coach of the Des Moines Venom. “It’s just not supposed to be.”
Boone said children on his team are mourning both Carr and Josiah Woods, a teammate shot and killed in January 2020 at just 15 years old.
“The toughest of the toughest kids…you can sit them down and I can look in their eyes and tell they’re feeling something,” Boone said. “You will be surprised at how many of them will break down and instantly start crying, and all you can do is hug them.”
He believes children are running into trouble because there aren’t enough activities for them when school is out, and says he is trying his best to open up some options to keep them safe.
“I’m trying to work with my job to create a work program,” Boone said. “We can get these boys in here and give them jobs so they have something to do and put a little money in their pocket the right way.”
Boone believes it will take a long time for this generation to heal from Carr, Dameron, and Woods’ deaths, but says it’s worth putting in the work to prevent any one else from dying early.
“The most important thing is that we’ve got to listen, because they’re going through some stuff. I know people say they’re just kids, but they’re going through stuff every day,” Boone said. “People tell me all the time, ‘you’re not going to save them all. I’m still going to try.”