Clayton County

13-year-old working in front yard killed in drive-by shooting, family says

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — A 13-year-old boy was shot and killed overnight at a mobile home park in Clayton County.

The shooter is still on the run.

Officers say they were called to Willow Lane in Riverdale Thursday night, where they found 13-year-old Brayan Zavala shot to death in front of his home.

His family told Channel 2′s Tom Jones that Brayan was in the yard working on the lawnmower when someone drove up, opened fire and then took off. The shooting happened in front of his family.

Brayan died in his father and brother’s arms.

Jesus Zavala, Brayan’s brother, told Jones the gunman got out of the car, walked up and shot Brayan. The 16-year-old said he’s having a hard time understanding why it happened.

“What did... what did he do?” he asked. "We were working on a lawnmower, and all of a sudden, my brother is dead.

Zavala said the car drove by, then turned around. A man got out of the car with a shotgun and walked up to Brayan.

“He didn’t say nothing. He didn’t say, ‘I’m assaulting you. I’m robbing you'," Zavala said. “Naw, he just stood there and shot my brother.”

Zavala said the gunman took off in a Chevy HHR with no plates.

The family was planning to celebrate Brayan’s 14th birthday next week.

“It’s not fair,” Zavala said. “What’s the reason? Why? I don’t get it. I don’t get why this happened.”

Police were going door-to-door on Friday afternoon. People were dropping by the family’s home to drop off flowers and try to console them.

“My brother, what did he do? He’s just 13-years-old,” Zavala said. "A happy kid. All of a sudden, now he’s dead.

A neighbor said there were two other men in the car.

The family has created a GoFundMe page to raise money for funeral expenses.

“On the night of October 15, 2020, my little brother, Brayan was shot and killed outside of our family home. Brayan was 13 years old, turning 14 next month. He has been taken from us for no reason. At this time, Clayton County Police are working to help my family track down the shooter. We have no answers,” Jesus Zavala wrote on the page.

If you have any information, contact Clayton County Police.