ST. LOUIS COUNTY — A 16-year-old boy was gunned down outside of his grandmother’s house on Wednesday night.
Robert Michael “R.J.” Dorsey, was shot about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday in the 800 block of Vegas Drive, in south St. Louis County. He was shot in the torso and pronounced dead at a hospital.
Police have not announced any arrests in the case and are asking for the public’s help.
R.J., a student at Bayless High School, had told his sister he was going outside to talk with someone and would be right back, said R.J.’s mother, Bria Dorsey, who was away from the home at the time her son was shot. A gray car had just pulled up in front of the home, relatives say.
A witness told relatives that she had been near R.J.’s grandmother’s home and saw shots fired from the gray sedan, then the car sped off, Bria Dorsey said.
R.J.’s older sister saw her brother on the ground and called her mother on the phone.
“Go lay hands on him and be with him,” a frantic Bria Dorsey instructed her daughter.
The daughter replied: “Mom, I am. Mom, it’s bad.”
“She couldn’t stop crying,” Bria Dorsey said.
R.J. was living with his mother and two sisters at his grandmother’s home on Vegas Drive in Affton. In addition to his two sisters, R.J. had three half-siblings. He would have been a junior at Bayless High School in the fall. His mother said that at 6 feet, 6 inches tall, R.J. was a standout on his school basketball team.
He just turned 16 on Friday and celebrated at Lake of the Ozarks with friends.
At Faith Church locations in Sunset Hills and Earth City, where his mom works as a videographer, R.J. volunteered as a youth leader and was going to be a pastor one day, his mom said.
“He sat in the front row at church,” she said. “Everybody loved him. R.J.’s the funniest, coolest kid. I went to him for counseling. He would give me advice. He was so smart.”
As she mourned Thursday, Bria Dorsey also was trying to find out with whom her son was associating that could have led to his death. She was seeking information through social media. Her son was smart, she said, but he must have put himself “with the wrong people. Why would he hang out with bad people? He had to have known.”
Bria Dorsey said her sister saw a similar gray car in front of the grandmother’s house a couple days earlier. Bria Dorsey had seen her son get into a gray Impala with two young men when she visited her son at a basketball court at a recreation complex in south St. Louis County.
Vegas Drive in south St. Louis County is between Interstate 55 and Lemay Ferry Road. It is just west of the community of Bella Villa.
By Thursday afternoon, family and friends of R.J. Dorsey had raised more than $3,700 for funeral expenses in a GoFundMe campaign.
St. Louis County detectives are handling the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 636-529-8210 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-8477.
Coverage of children who died in the St. Louis area in 2019
These are the local incidents of homicide or neglect involving children, based on Post-Dispatch reporting. This list doesn't include children killed in car accidents, self-inflicted accidental shootings or incidents not being investigated by homicide detectives.