Springfield shooting victim was a HS football star

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN)- Springfield police want to know who gunned down a young man in broad daylight on Friday.

The 21-year-old victim, who  neighbors and friends said is George Walker Jr., was walking down 200 block Grand Avenue near Lowry Avenue when he was shot shortly before 10:30a.m. Friday.

Loved ones said Walker Jr. was a star running back for the Springfield High School football team, who also played some basketball.

His death comes right on the heels of another shooting of fellow football stand out Jeffrey Wellington.

17-year-old Wellington was shot outside apartments in the 2300 block of North Limestone Street in Springfield early Easter morning

Police said Walker was minutes from his home and walked from where he was shot to knock on a door for help.

In the 9-1-1 call obtained by 2NEWS, the following can be heard:

CALLER: 244 West Grand
OPERATOR: 9-1-1 Emergency.
CALLER: Yes, there’s been a shooting at…
OPERATOR: Where?
CALLER: 244 West Grand
OPERATOR: Where?
CALLER: ... right on the corner.
OPERATOR: You’re screaming I can’t understand you.
CALLER: I’m at the corner of 244 West Grand a big blue house on the corner.
OPERATOR: At Grand and Lowry?
CALLER: Yes, right on the corner. The boy’s name is George Walker Jr. He just ran and banged on my door. He’s shot. We can’t tell where he’s shot at.

George Walker Jr. was then rushed to Springfield Regional Medical center, where he later died.

Neighbors said the rising star had a great talent, which would have taken him as far as the Georgia Military Academy.

He was scheduled to be there in two weeks.

Many who spoke with 2 NEWS said they simply cannot believe tragedy in the football family has struck twice within the past couple weeks.

“Bullets have no names, but I mean it has to stop some how, some way because stuff like this, kids that are wanting to go somewhere get ready to make it. Just wrong place at the wrong time,” said Conley Smoot, Walker’s mentor.

Smoot said he personally witnessed the supportive relationship between Walker and Wellington, who often leaned on each other for support according to the mentor and Springfield High alumni.

As with Wellington’s death, Springfield Police Chief Stephen Moody could be seen at the crime scene.

He told 2 NEWS that it’s saddening to see such promising young men lose their lives so senselessly.

“People are upset, surely because of the relationship– this man to the community,” said Moody. “It’s vitally important that people step up at this time remembering Jeffrey Wellington, remembering this young man and all the other victims in our community. It’s essential that someone with some courage, moral courage, steps forward at this time.”

Officials hope that those who may have witnessed the shooting will speak up.

If you have any information, call Springfield police at 937-234-7716 or call 911.

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