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Man faces weapons charges in killing of 14-year-old East St. Louis football standout

Man faces weapons charges in killing of 14-year-old East St. Louis football standout

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EDWARDSVILLE — A 20-year-old man faces weapons charges in connection with the 2019 killing of a 14-year-old East St. Louis football standout. 

Jaylen M. Staten, 20, was charged Wednesday with aggravated discharge of a firearm, reckless discharge of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in the May 4, 2019, killing of Jaylon McKenzie. 

Staten is the only person charged so far in the killing. A 15-year-old girl who survived was also hit by stray bullets after a fight broke out.

Charges for Staten came just days before a scheduled rally to "end gun violence and silence" organized by Jaylon's mother.

More than 1,000 people attended Jaylon's funeral. He was an eighth-grader at Mason-Clark Middle School in East St. Louis and was featured in Sports Illustrated as one of six young athletes who would "rule the future of sports."

The investigation is ongoing, according to the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office.

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