Football: Muir’s Brandon Jackson, a junior fullback, was fatally shot in Altadena over the weekend.

NOTE: Those wishing to make donations can contact Deanna Howard at

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

ALTADENA – Coronor’s officials Monday identified a man shot and killed in a drive-by shooting this past weekend as 18-year-old John Muir High School football standout Brandon Jackson.

Jackson, who played fullback/linebacker for the Muir Mustangs, was gunned down at about 10 p.m. Saturday in the 300 block of West Palm Street as he was walking home from a friend’s party.

Neighbors said someone pulled up in a car, then called Jackson over and opened fire. He died later at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena.

Coroner Chief Ed Winters said Jackson suffered gunshot wounds to the abdomen. An autopsy was expected to be performed today or Wednesday, he said.

Sheriff’s Detective Adan Torres said investigators had no motive or suspects. He said no witnesses had come forward to offer any clues.

But a source close to the investigation said the shooting likely was gang related. A shooting Sunday night in Pasadena that left a 44-year-old man wounded might have been done in retaliation to Jackson’s slaying, the source said.

Muir Principal Sheryl Orange said Monday she requested a stronger police presence at the school.

“I asked them to watch the perimeters,” Orange said.

On West Palm Street on Monday, friends and relatives of Jackson set up a sidewalk memorial to the victim.

People who knew him said Jackson was in the process of turning his school career around. The 5-foot, 11-inch, 175-pound football player scored a touch down in last year’s Turkey Tussle game between Muir and Pasadena High School in which Muir won, 63-6.

“This kid was off and running in the classroom, bringing his GPA to a 2.7,” Muir football coach Ken Howard said Monday. “He was all about becoming successful, keeping a positive attitude.”

Howard held a team meeting where the mood was somber as players consoled each other.

Jackson was described as a “good kid” and “respectful,” a starting fullback who was expected to shoulder more offensive responsibility next season.

As a sophomore Jackson forced a key fumble that helped the Mustangs tie and nearly knock off the defending CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division champions.

Adrienne Lett, vice president of the football booster’s club, said the club held an emergency meeting Monday night to talk about how to help Jackson’s family with funeral costs.

Also, grief counselors and counselors from Child Welfare and Attendance and the Mentoring and Partnership for Youth Development were at Muir on Monday speaking to students.

Muir senior wide receiver Karl Holmes Jr. remembered Jackson’s ambition to improve his personal life.

“He would say, `I just want to get a job and help my sister,’ because his mom had passed away when he was in the seventh grade,” Holmes said. “He had said he just wanted to help his family and he wanted to be the man of the family, and I respected him for that.”

Holmes and Jackson were among a group of Muir High students who as sophomores went to Washington, D.C., to witness President Barack Obama’s historic inauguration.

“He was crying when it all happened,” Holmes recalled.

The two had known each since they were both 12 years old, Holmes said.

“He was more than a teammate – he was like a brother. The sad thing is, I can’t remember the last thing I said to him.”

Howard pressed his players to keep Jackson’s memory alive.

“I told them, `If you have Brandon’s phone number, keep it and don’t delete it,”‘ Howard said. “That if they have his picture, don’t delete it – keep it.”

Michael Burnes, a sophomore who had known Jackson since both played Pop Warner football as 11-year-olds, was still trying to comprehend the death of his childhood friend.

“It’s just a sad day,” he said. “Known him since we were kids.”

Dennis Vaughn, a senior linebacker, said he recognized Jackson’s leadership skills early on.

“He was only a sophomore and he was on the sidelines telling us to keep our heads up,” Vaughn recalled. “He always had a positive attitude. There was definitely no gang involvement. That’s not what he was about. He was about getting his work done and moving on.”

Staff Writer Beige Luciano-Adams contributed to this report.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Reddit Tumblr Email
  • Big Dog

    Our prayers are with the family and friends, may the Lord keep his arms of love wrapped around you guys. Life is short and it’s sad to say, Good people do encounter bad circumstances in life. God bless and stay strong!!!!!

  • Where You From

    This tells me he must’ve known the assailant. If he called/motioned for him, and Brandon went over so easily/thus innocently…I’m just sayin. This isn’t like the stereotypical drive by in which some G just pulls up, asks where u from?, etc…then blasts him away. ‘Least according to what you describeth the neighbors said.

    Quoting —

    …Jackson died at a local hospital. Neighbors said **he was walking on the street when someone pulled up in a car and called him over88, then opened fire.

  • Sad SAD SAD !!!

    Wow, this is a sad story… In neighborhoods like Altadena, Pasadena, Monrovia, and Duarte, people know just about everyone. It is very unlikely that he knew the crimals. Depending on how wide the street was, they could have just said,”A Homie, come here”. That distraction would be just enough to get a clean shot. We cannot rule out any scenario. I hope they police catch the killers.. Its sad you kids can’t even walk the streets…we’ll maybe they just shouldn’t….I pray for his family and Friends.

  • sfhs89

    Wanted to wish my heartfelt condolences to the Jackson family and everyone at Muir.

  • Bob Anon

    This is an incredibly sad and tragic story. My thoughts and prayers are with the Jackson family and the Muir family.

  • BigFatFan

    Where you from: not sure what you are implying here. he knew the people in the car?? that does not in anyway justify the kid being gunned down on the streets of altadena.

  • Trojan Man

    God Bless this young mans family & may he rest in peace.

    TAKE NOTE !!!
    Coaches & PARENTS…
    KNOW WHERE YOUR KIDS & PLAYERS ARE on weekends & after school.

    Walking the streets in ANY NEIGHBORHOOD is dangerous …ESPECIALLY @ 10 pm



    My prayers go out to the Jackson Family and the Muir Football Team.

    May God bless you.

    Justice will be there.

    Per the L.A. Times;
    A Compton gang member was convicted Monday in the 2009 murder of a Narbonne High School football player.
    Victim Dannie Farber, Jr. justice was served Feb. 14, 2011. God Bless you Dannie.

    Coach Alonso

  • Diamonds

    Brandon was an incredibly respectful and very tactful young man. He had such a positive spirit and was somewhat of an old soul. I say this because you rarely hear young people his age speak and greet people, especially his elders with so much respect and courtesy. His mannerism was delightful and refreshing. He was a true blessing to everyone he made contact with. RIP Brandon and my condolences to the family. God Bless

  • Goldenarm

    This is devastating to imagine what feelings this leaves the young man’s family to hold on to.

    For any parent this is the worst of what could be imagined, to not have your young son or daughter come home.

    Condolences to the Jackson family.