Damarion Benjamin, 17, Was Shot and Killed in Chicago This Year
Damarion Benjamin was among 97 children under 18 shot in Chicago this year – an increase over last year at this time. His mother has called on the community to come together in combatting this violent trend.
Malijahjuan Smith, 25, has been charged in relation to the fatal shooting of a man found dead by the side of the road on July 7. Police responded to an anonymous tip at 51st Street and Lawn Avenue and discovered both Smith as well as spent shell casings lying nearby.
Early Life and Education
Malijahjuan Smith, 25, from Independence was charged on Wednesday with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Damarion Benjamin. Jackson County prosecutors announced this charge following police in Kansas City’s discovery of his body near 51st and Lawn Avenue early Thursday morning near 51st and Lawn Avenue; witnesses reported seeing the body lying there. Court documents reveal that on July 7 Smith texted his girlfriend telling her they would pick up Benjamin to search for whomever killed his relative Johnson who is deceased.
Smith told detectives that when Benjamin went back into his vehicle to inspect its fake license plate before pulling out a firearm. Smith then shot him several times with his Glock 9mm pistol equipped with an “autoload” switch and shot fully automatically from it, according to authorities.
After playing sparingly for Minnesota over his two seasons with them, this defensive back decided to transfer and enroll at a school in Michigan for division two football. Unfortunately he didn’t appear in any games in 2022 and is no longer listed among their current roster.
After struggling with Minnesota, he found himself at UNI for 2021 season. Playing three games without recording a catch, he is currently enrolled in their portal program.
Malijahjuan Smith was charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in connection with Demarion Benjamin’s shooting death on July 7 in Kansas City, Missouri. Police allege that Smith shot Benjamin while walking home from a convenience store located at 51st Street and Lawn Avenue.
Damarion Benjamin was not only known for his professional success but was also an active member of the Church of Christ. He frequently spoke about prayer and having an intimate relationship with God as it helped him overcome many of life’s obstacles. People greatly respected and liked his integrity – something his faith enabled him to do effectively.
On July 7, Kansas City police received a call about a body found along a roadway. When officers responded to 51st Street and Lawn Avenue they discovered an individual lying dead with spent shell casings nearby. Jackson County prosecutors charged Malijahjuan Smith from Independence with second-degree murder and armed criminal action for this death.
Smith initially told investigators he did not know Benjamin had been killed and denied being involved with any shooting incident, however after viewing Smith’s cell phone records and other evidence they changed their story and altered his account of events.