The 17-year-old high school football star who was shot and killed in Miami Gardens is being remembered as a great athletic talent who worked to make a better life for his family.
Joshua Ancrum, a junior and a cornerback of the football team at Miami Norland High School, died Tuesday after apparent gunplay with a childhood friend, according to the Miami Gardens Police Department.
The shooting happened around 2 p.m. in the 3400 block of Northwest 207th Street, police said. Ancrum was airlifted to the hospital, where he died.
Police said Ancrum was visiting friends at the home when the shooting happened. After interviewing witnesses, a shooter was identified and arrested, officials said. Police said the 16-year-old suspect, whose name wasn’t released, is charged with aggravated manslaughter.
“There is no one at large associated with this incident. The shooting is an isolated incident and the apparent product of gunplay amongst associates,” police said in a statement.
Ancrum, the first-born child in his family, was described as an underdog: under-sized and under-privileged, his mother, Liza Alvarez, said.
“I want everybody to remember Joshua Abraham Ancrum as one of the best football players ever,” Alvarez said one day after the shooting.
The teen worked since he was three years old to become one of the better cornerbacks in the region, his mother said. He was rewarded this year through four college scholarship offers — achievements she says weren’t for him, but for her.
“He told me three days ago before he passed, ‘I’m going to make you proud. I’m going to make you so proud,’ because he was always doing it for me and his sisters and brothers,” Alvarez said.
She distinctly remembers that passion playing out in the closing seconds of a tied game last year.
“He was playing against the best team and he caught a pick. He caught the winning pick,” she recalled. “The underdogs. He played for the underdogs. He smiled. He said, ‘Mom, you see that pick? I told you I got this.’ You know what I told him? ‘Boy, you ain’t do nothing, you still got more work to do.'”
It’s work that will now be left to Ancrum’s family, as they feel the pain, embrace the pride, and make the promise to remember him.
“This pain shouldn’t be held on nobody,” Alvarez said. “They say time heals all pain right? We just got to wait and see how the story ends.”
Ancrum had dreams to ultimately make it to the NFL and to buy his mother and siblings a home.
“Just having him as a teammate really motivated me,” Jarvis Browlee said. “Just to have him on the other side of me knowing that he was gonna stop the other side and I was gonna lock the other side.”
South Florida Express, a league Ancrum played for, tweeted their condolences.
“Today we are saddened to find out about the passing of one of our players,” the tweet read. “Josh, your funny and charismatic attitude will forever live in our hearts. You will never be forgotten and will be missed.”
The league also started a GoFundMe to help with funeral costs.
Police have not released further details about the shooting. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.