Landry-Walker High School football player Johan Kenner was killed Sunday night at St. Roch Playground, a devastating blow to the Algiers school and the local high school sports community.
At approximately 6:45 p.m., Kenner, 17, was shot multiple times as he tried to flee the playground. Family members said they do not believe Kenner, an affable teammate and classmate, was the intended target.
“He just had ACL surgery, so he couldn’t run as fast,” said his mother, Cortina Johnson-Cash. “And when he tried to get up and run ... he was shot in the back.”
Kenner was transported to Interim LSU Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Outside, family and members of the Landry-Walker community gathered to mourn their loss.
As of early Monday morning, the New Orleans Police Department had not released information about a suspect or motive.
Kenner’s football coach at Landry-Walker, Emanuel Powell, said he was a personable and loving kid, as well as a leader. Kenner helped the teams from Landry and O. Perry Walker high schools merge last summer into one of the state’s best Class 4A programs. The Buccaneers reached the 2013 4A state semifinals before losing to Edna Karr.
“He was one of those kids that make you laugh all the time, keep you smiling,” Powell said. “Very coachable. Very respectable young man. He hadn’t reached his full potential, but he worked hard.
“He was just a joy to be around all the time because he had that look about him that kept you smiling, kept you uplifted. He’s going to be truly missed, on and off the field, because he was more than just a football player.”
Kenner, who also played basketball, was preparing for his senior year.
“He was a real good kid,” Johnson-Cash said. “He was turning 18 on the 24th of this month.”