Lehman senior football player Kino Brown was killed after being stabbed once in the chest on Sept. 30 around 3:30 a.m., according to the police. Brown joined the football team two weeks ago and had yet to play a game, according to head coach Michael Saunds.
Brown, 17, died at 5 a.m. at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and 22-year-old Pedro Suazo was arrested on Oct. 1 and charged with murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon. Brown was stabbed at Bivona Street in the Bronx.
"It was pretty rough," Saunds said. "He was close to some of the kids on the team. They were pretty broken up about it."
Saunds said that Brown was a tryout player who joined the team after the start of the season and was a wide receiver and cornerback. Since Brown had been on the team for such a short time, he wasn't on the team's depth chart yet.
Brown joined the team looking to do something positive and be a part of what the team was trying to accomplish, Saunds said. He said that Brown was close with some of the seniors on the team and those players vouched for him when he tried out and wanted to have him on the squad. Saunds added that Brown was on schedule to graduate.
"The thing that I remember about him was he was a persistent kid and normally we don't take seniors but he came around and was working hard," Saunds said. "He was a good guy. He helped set up for the Homecoming dance and basically he had a good soul. That's what stuck out to me and the coaches and he was just a nice kid to be around."
The coach said he found out Friday morning. The team was preparing for a light walkthrough before its game on Sunday when his players told him about Brown's death. The coaches gave the players the option of skipping practice that day, but the team decided to practice to try and honor Brown.
Originally, the coaching staff had thought of not playing its game Sunday against Brooklyn Technical, but after the players said they wanted to practice that day in Brown's honor, they didn't mention that suggestion to the team. Lehman played the game Sunday and won 34-30 in its homecoming game.
"The kids did the best thing they could, they dedicated the homecoming game to him and they went out and they won the game," Saunds said. "I know Lehman has had some memorial services for him this week and everyone has been able to say a couple of words over the loud speakers if needed and he's being remembered. We tried the best we could as a community and a school to remember him."
Saunds said the wake and funeral for Brown are scheduled for next week.
"They're not going to get over it right away," Saunds said. "These kids have a routine and we have a routine of practicing, playing and school work and they fall into this routine and this (team) is their security blanket."