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'We were praying for him' as shot teen took his last breath

A 16-year-old died Saturday night after he was shot outside a party on Randleman Street, Fayetteville police said.

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Joseph Braxton III was gasping his last breath by the time Angelique Saxton reached him.

She described it as one of the worst nights of her life.

Saxton thought she took the necessary precautions to avoid a moment like this – a teenager shot at or near a house party.

Braxton was one of about 20 students from Seventy-First High School invited to Saxton’s Randleman Street home Saturday night to celebrate her daughter’s 16th birthday.

Saxton even handed out bracelets to tell who was supposed to be at the party.

“I had 10 adults here as chaperones,” she said. “I had all the entrance points covered with two adults.”

Just as food was being served on the back deck at about 10:30 p.m., there were gunshots.

“I heard one shot. Then I heard another shot,” Braxton said. “Then suddenly all the kids started running into the house saying ‘they're shooting, they're shooting.’”

Braxton was involved in an altercation across the street from the party when shots were fired, Fayetteville police said.

As the teenager lay dying on the ground, he was comforted by Saxton.

“I want his mom to know that he was with some people,” she said, emphasizing that he didn’t die alone. "And we were praying for him, we were praying for him."

Braxton was pronounced dead at the scene.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Fayetteville police at 910-237-9391 or Crime Stoppers at 910-483-8477. Tips can also be sent by text to 274637.


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