BELLE GLADE (AP) — A high school football player and top collegiate recruit was found shot dead in his car early Saturday morning, Sept. 27.
Norman Griffith was discovered in Belle Glade with a gunshot wound to the head. He was sitting in a Dodge Durango that seemed to have been in a car accident, Palm Beach County sheriff's deputies said.
They did not immediately offer a motive or explanation for the shooting.
“It’s so hard for everyone to deal with because it was so unexpected,” Pahokee coach Blaze Thompson told the Sun Sentinel. “Nobody is thinking about football right now. Right now we just want to make sure his family is ok. It really puts life in perspective.”
Griffith was airlifted to Delray Medical Center and pronounced dead. An unidentified juvenile in the car was also taken to the hospital.
Griffith was discovered just a few hours after his Pahokee team, a state powerhouse, won its homecoming game. The Blue Devils have four state titles in the past five years, but also a recent history of violence.
Earlier this week, 17-year-old teammate Byron Blake was shot in the hand during an after-practice fight. Investigators said they have no motive.
In July, several Pahokee players were involved in a brawl with Miami’s Booker T. Washington High during a 7-on-7 tournament, which got both teams kicked out.
Griffith, a 6-foot-1 defensive lineman for Pahokee, was being recruited by several Division I schools. Scouting services praised him for good football instincts, speed and coverage flexibility, suggesting he would play outside linebacker in college.
Photo: Norman Griffith