The 10th grader passed away following a shooting and stabbing incident after a basketball game at Tri-Cities High School in East Point, officials say.
EAST POINT, Ga. — Mario Bailey was sunshine — lighting up a room with his bright smile and free spirit.
And to the woman who raised him, Shanice Bailey, Mario was her everything, and his happiness always shone even on the darkest days.
“My whole world,” she said in an interview with 11Alive. “If you needed a shoulder to lean on, you could just talk to Mario, and he gonna make you laugh.”
But Shanice’s world was turned upside down last Friday when her 15-year-old son was shot and killed after a basketball game at Tri-Cities High School.
According to a letter school officials sent to parents on Saturday and from law enforcement, one person was shot and another was stabbed Friday night after the game. Both students were critically injured during the incidents, and Mario later died.
“Mario will be deeply missed,” the school wrote in the letter. “Please know that we are taking steps to increase safety personnel and resources, including our Evolv concealed weapons detection system and additional Fulton County Schools Police Officers.”
The altercation happened following a game between Tri-Cities and Banneker High School. East Point Police said they heard gunshots in the area and found that a person was shot as people were exiting the high school following the game. It’s unsure at this time if the shooting and stabbing are connected, police said.
For Shanice, she had just seen her son a few hours earlier when she dropped him off at the game. She texted him later asking if he was ready, and she said she received a text telling her, “Yes.”
However, once she got to the school, she said she saw a lot of police presence, and her son was not responding. A detective would later tell her that her only child had been shot.
When she arrived at the hospital, she hoped her son would be able to tell her everything was OK. That he was OK. But one interaction with a member of staff at the hospital told her otherwise, and when she saw her son, she knew the outcome.
“I’m looking at my son’s feet, they cold. I’m looking at his eyes, they’re wide open,” she said. “I just knew my son was dead.”
With Mario’s passing, Shanice has had to reconcile with the loss of her only child and the knowledge that she will never be able to see him grow up and have children of his own. She won’t get to watch with pride as he fulfills his dreams of joining the military. She won’t even be able to celebrate him going to prom or walking across a stage to graduate.
“I ain’t got nobody to play with, talk with, joke with,” she said.
Her house, which once contained Mario’s smile and teenage spirit, is now silent. And Shanice is experiencing a pain that she said no one should have to feel.
But amidst all the grief and devastation, Shanice said the one thing she wants others to remember is the light — specifically, Mario’s light.
“I just want you to remember when you come outside and see the sunshine and it’s bright and pretty. Sunny and shiny — just like your teeth sparkling off of something, that’s my baby.”
Those wanting to donate to help raise money for his service can visit the fundraiser here.
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