Peewee Coach Shot by Player's Father

Man facing felony charges in shooting at St. Louis youth football practice says it was self-defense
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2023 9:40 AM CDT

As a youth football coach, Shaquille Latimore is used to parents being angry with him. He's not used to angry fathers pulling out guns and shooting him, as he says happened at a recent practice in St. Louis. A father confronted Latimore about his decision to bench the man's son during a previous game, then pulled out a gun and shot the coach four times, leaving him seriously injured, according to a police affidavit. "I'm honestly still in disbelief," Latimore, who was released from the hospital last week, tells the Washington Post. The father, Daryl Brian Clemmons, remains in custody facing felony charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action. But his family claims Latimore was the aggressor and Clemmons only opened fire in self-defense.

Clemmons' brother tells KSDK that Latimore handed his own gun to a friend before starting a fistfight with Clemmons, a co-founder and former coach of the team, on Oct. 10. When Latimore fell to the ground, "he asked his friend for the gun back and in the midst of him getting the gun in his hand, our brother shot in self-defense," the brother says. Clemmons' public defender offered that same account during a Thursday court appearance, where several other parents backed it up. One witness who asked not to be identified said Latimore walked at least 100 yards off the field to confront Clemmons, who repeatedly told the coach to leave him alone. "The coach started this," the man said, per KSDK. "They are putting an innocent person in jail."

Latimore admits approaching Clemmons and having a gun, which he claims to carry for protection because his team of 9- and 10-year-olds, the Badboyz, practice in a rough area. But he denies fighting and says Clemmons revealed his gun after the volunteer coach handed off his own. He adds he was shot while trying to flee. He was hit in the back, stomach, thigh, and arm, he tells the Post. "A half-inch more to the left, my spine would have been shattered." His team suffered, too, not just from what they witnessed, but also from the city's decision to exclude the Bad Boyz from playoffs for safety reasons following "a series of incidents perpetuated by adults." Latimore says he hopes the city will reconsider, adding he's willing to step down as coach to make it happen. (More St. Louis stories.)

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