Coaches, friends remember 2023 LaGrange graduate killed in shooting

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 9:53 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Lake Charles, La. (KPLC) - It has only been two days since Markell Jackson was killed, and his friends and teachers remain in shock.

Jackson was a 2023 graduate of LaGrange High School. Four days after receiving his diploma, Jackson was shot and killed next to Huber Park.

Jackson was a center on the Gators basketball team and a safety on the football team. We caught up with his coaches, who said he was outstanding on and off the field or court.

“Last conversation – I said Markell, stay up,” said basketball Head Coach Jason Wilson. “I always tell my players, make sure you stay up, and they know what that means. Stay up with your grades, doing the right things, making the right decisions. That’s the last thing I said to him, and he was like, ‘I got you Coach, I got you Coach.’”

A life gone too soon – friends tell us the 6-foot-4 athlete was jovial, active in sports and kept his coaches laughing.

“He could be funny at times,” football Coach Marrico Wilson said. “You know, when he’d get with his peers, they all had that funny aspect in their repertoire, but he was a little different. When it was time to be serious with the sports or whatever he was very serious. So his character, I mean, I can’t question that. Great kid, again.”

Jackson’s former teammate Omarion Randolph said when the news broke that his friend had been shot, he rushed over to the scene, but by the time he got there, things had cleared up. He remembers the shock and disbelief he felt at that moment.

”At first, I was like nah, this can’t be true,” Randolph said. “When it happened he wasn’t pronounced dead, so I was like hopefully he’ll be straight in the hospital. But then a couple of hours later I was playing basketball and then I heard he was pronounced dead, so I just left the gym and went home.”

“I couldn’t really take it in my heart because I knew how much Markell meant to me and the rest of us, so I went to the weight room just to get things off my mind,” former teammate Cortlen Mitchell said.

Good memories are all his coaches and teammates have left to hold on to as they plead for gun violence to come to an end.

“He was just a good dude,” Randolph said.

“He always had a good sense of humor, and he was never down,” Mitchell said. “He always stayed up, and he didn’t ever want to see nobody down whenever he was around anybody.”

“Yeah, you wouldn’t ever see him down unless he was asleep,” Randolph agreed, laughing.

“He actually, he liked to rap,” Coach Jason Wilson said. “He was very humorous, always rapping, always clowning. He talked about wanting to have a rap career. I said boy, you gonna be a 6′4″ rapper huh, I said okay, so you’re gonna be similar to Snoop Dogg, he’s a 6′4″ rapper.”

“Just put the guns down,” Coach Marrico Wilson said.

An 18-year-old Lake Charles man is facing a second-degree murder charge in connection with the shooting.