Family, friends mourn Demopolis teen who was shot, killed Sunday

For some people, going into their senior year of high school is one of the happiest times of life. That was certainly the case for 17-year-old Isiah Henley, until his life was cut short Sunday. Henley was shot and killed in Demopolis after a fist fight escalated into gunfire.

“When (police) arrived, that’s when they found the Henley on the ground,” Demopolis Police Chief Rex Flowers said. “He was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead.”

James Zanders, 39, is facing murder charges in Henley’s death. Zanders is a family member of one of the people involved in the fight before the shooting, Flowers said.

“It’s just sad when you have someone’s young life taken and they have their whole life ahead of them,” Flowers said. “The community knows him as a football player and a young person. His life was cut short.”

It’s a special bond between football player and coach. Josh Thacker served as the Demopolis Tigers offensive coordinator for the past two years.

He said it’s players like Isiah Henley who made the job worthwhile.

“He was such a team player,” Thacker said. “He was genuinely excited for everyone. When a young man passed a class or a test, Isaiah was there to give them a hug. When somebody had a birthday, he was running around singing ‘Happy Birthday.’ He was so fun loving. So full of energy. He could light up a room just by walking in. If you were ever having a bad day, he would make your day better just by sitting down and talking with you. He had this big, beautiful smile that would just go on for days. He was just a fantastic young man.”

Demopolis Police are asking anyone with information on this case to come forward.

Isiah Henley’s funeral arrangements have not been announced.

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