A few months from now, we could have been talking about Javorris Jackson as one of the most inspiring rookies in the NFL. After all, he overcame serious injuries after being shot back in 2002, went through three years of grueling rehabilitation, and this past season was an honorable mention All-American as a 28-year-old senior at Savannah State. He was even on track to graduate in the fall.
But all that is out the window now. Jackson has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting his girlfriend to death in a Detroit suburb on Sunday. He then turned the gun on himself, but survived the self-inflicted blast to his chest. His brother, Lions lineman Grady Jackson, is among those close to him who are shocked that he could do something like this.
The SAVANNAH MORNING NEWS explains what happened:
Jackson, 28, allegedly shot Courtney Solomon, 26, before turning the gun on himself at TownePlace Suites, an extended-stay hotel in Dearborn, Mich., about 2:45 a.m. Sunday, according to Dearborn police.
Jackson is charged with first-degree murder and a felony firearms offense. He remained hospitalized Thursday, receiving treatment for a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest, police said.
The paper says that Jackson was trying to earn a roster spot with his brother’s team, the Lions. They had even invited him to their rookie camp. The Jacksons both went to high school in the Detroit area.
Grady Jackson says he still doesn’t know why his brother did this, since Javorris is still unable to talk due to his own injuries:
“Javorris hasn’t been able to talk,” Grady said. “There are a lot of questions that need to be answered. There’s a lot more to it. Everybody is trying to figure out what’s really going on.”
Grady paused again. He breathed deeply and then continued.
“From our family, we send our sympathies out to her family. It’s bad when you lose a loved one. We understand what her family is going through. We send our deepest apology. We want to thank everybody for keeping Javorris in their prayers.”
Javorris was a very popular player at Savannah State, and this behavior was so unexpected that local newspaper columnist Noell Barnidge was brought to tears:
No way. Javorris Jackson, the Savannah State football player? Not “J.J.,” whose million-dollar smile lit up a room. Can’t be Savannah’s guy. Not in a million years.
When my co-worker verified that it was SSU’s Javorris Jackson, tears filled my eyes. I had to pull off the road.
Tears are flowing at SSU, where so many of Javorris’ teammates and coaches, classmates and teachers, are in sheer disbelief.
What a sad story. Jackson had overcome so much physically the last few years and was on the cusp of living his dream. He also had been through a lot as a kid, being raised by his aunts and uncles in Alabama and Michigan. Whatever happened last Sunday night, it certainly didn’t need to end that way.