Family remembers high school athlete they say was killed by father of girlfriend

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The family of 16-year-old James Parnell Jr. mourned his death after he was shot and killed last week, allegedly by a father who caught him with his daughter.

Family members of the Raleigh-Egypt High School junior gathered Wednesday afternoon to talk about his promise and accomplishments. 

His father, James Parnell Sr., said his son was a good student and good child, a track star, football star, basketball star and baseball star. Family called him PJ.

“I looked up to him because he was a respectful young man. Very intelligent,” said his great aunt, Ethel Alexander.

Memphis Police have arrested John Moore, charging him with the teen’s murder. Investigators say he shot the teen outside of a home off Edward. 

Parnell’s family said he was in a relationship with Moore’s daughter. 

Detectives say a woman told them Moore had discovered the teen in his daughter’s bedroom. A fight broke out between the father and the boy. She claims Moore told her he shot at the boy as he ran away down the street. 

“He was taken from us early. It hurts,” Alexander said. “It was like a piece of our soul has been snatched out.”

His family said Parnell was an intelligent young man, already getting scholarship offers. He wanted to attend Jackson State University.

Family hopes Moore is held accountable.

“I just want justice for my nephew,” Alexander said. “This is so tragic. He did not deserve this.”

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