DETROIT – Demarius Reed played prep football at Chicagos Simeon Academy, carefully avoiding any run-ins with the gangs on the citys South Side.
He left his hometown to play ball at Eastern Michigan University, where he was a communication, media and theater arts major. But the 20-year-old receiver dreamed of playing professional football before he was found shot to death Friday in what police believe was a robbery.
Joe L. Reed said he found irony in the tragedy of his grandsons slaying: Demarius was able to survive the dangerous streets of Chicago only to become a victim in an off-campus apartment building in the perceived safety of a university community.
He was an outgoing, beautiful kid. He wasnt associated with no gang or anything, Joe L. Reed said. I would say, Hey man. Dont go outside. I wouldnt let him associate with anybody over there.
Over there, he said, is the area near Simeon. Many young people, including prominent athletes, dont make it out.
On Friday, hours after Reeds family learned of his slaying, Joe L. Reed reflected on grandsons gridiron success in high school and most recently at Eastern Michigan, about 35 miles southwest of Detroit in Ypsilanti.
The elder Reed did have reservations about his grandson moving into an off-campus apartment.
He was on scholarship, he said. He could have stayed on-campus.
Demarius roommate found his body about 7:15 a.m. Reed had been shot multiple times and some of his personal items were missing, Ypsilanti police said in a release.
No arrests were made as of late Friday afternoon.
Todays home game against Ohio University will be played as scheduled.
The 5-foot-10, 161-pound Reed played in six games this season, catching 15 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown.