Jamarie Lavon Hodges, 16, was proud to work as a pallbearer at Harmon Funeral Home.
Now his family is planning his funeral there.
Hodges was shot in the chest Sunday afternoon while trying to break up a fight outside his home in the 3900 block of East Ellicott Street. He died at Tampa General Hospital.
Police have issued a warrant on second-degree murder charges for Jose Guillermo Torres-Melvis, who lives less than a mile from Jamarie. Torres-Melvis, of 3507 East Genesee St., is considered armed and dangerous, police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.
Hodges' aunt, 32-year-old Tashumbi Shuler, said the death was a waste of a precious life.
"A lot of hurt and disbelief," she said. "Shock. Numbness. Just … he's just a baby, you know? Life taken too soon. He's only 16 years old. He knew nothing about life yet. He didn't even dust it yet – the idea of life."
About 4:45 p.m. Sunday, Hodges was playing PlayStation inside his home when a fight broke out outside. He was called for help and ran out, family said.
During the incident, someone robbed a friend of Hodges, police said.
Hodges tried to help his friend "and at that point the suspect pulled out a gun and shot," McElroy said.
Police wouldn't describe what was stolen and wouldn't say what the fight was about.
Hodges, who was kicked out of Middleton High School after being involved in "an altercation," family said, loved drawing and football. He played youth football much of his life, and he planned on ultimately going back to high school and playing quarterback and safety.
"He didn't get into trouble all the time, he just liked playing jokes – pranks and stuff," said his grandmother, Mary Ann Reynolds. "That is where his trouble came in at."
In the wake of the shooting, Reynolds said, "I couldn't eat nothing. And I can't sleep. I cried a little bit at the hospital, but right now I am numb."
Shuler said her nephew was a loyal person who loved life and girls.
"In the right environment, with the right love and nourishment, Jamarie had a bright future ahead of him," she said.
Tampa police ask if anyone has information on the case or Torres-Melvis' whereabouts to call (813) 231-6130.