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Students, teachers mourn teen's death

Jimon Clark

August 28, 2010 3:49:04 PM PDT
Violence on the streets of East Oakland claimed the life of a 13-year-old boy Wednesday night. Jimon Clark was shot while walking with his brother near 61st and Bancroft avenues.

Jimon Clark, who had graduated from the school earlier this year, was fatally shot at about 9:20 p.m. Wednesday in the 6100 block of Bancroft Avenue, police said.

Paramedics tried to revive the boy, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said.

The death has left those who knew Jimon searching for answers and wondering what might have come of the popular student and talented athlete.

Kermit Bayless, director of physical education at Frick, said Jimon and his twin brother Jivon were on a relay team that was the first to beat a team of teachers and administrators in a race held at the school's annual spring sports festival.

"They were talented, likable kids," Bayless said. "They always wanted to do more than everybody else."

Bayless said while other kids were eating lunch, Jimon and his brother could often be found training for the relay race on the school's track.

"They were the kinds of kids that would not say no to anything," he said. "When I said run two laps, they'd do three laps. They were always wanting to do more than the other kids."

Jimon, who was going to turn 14 next month, was scheduled to start classes at Skyline High School on Monday, according to Oakland Unified School District spokesman Troy Flint.

"He always talked about running track at a high school level," Bayless said. "I was 100 percent certain that the twins were going to evolve into greatness. All the signs were there."

He said a memorial has been set up for Jimon at the intersection of 64th and Bancroft avenues near the school, and many current and former students, including Jimon's twin brother Jivon, have come by the school, which is not back in session until Monday.

"It's just tragic that his life was cut so short," Bayless said.

He said the relay race between the students and teachers that Jimon helped win will likely be named after him, and school officials are discussing other ways to honor Jimon and help students deal with the murder.

"We've been working with our students the best we can to get through the tragedy," Bayless said.

No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting. A $15,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of suspects in the homicide.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Oakland Police Department's homicide unit at (510) 238-3821.


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