A teenager who died in a shooting in the United States on his 18th birthday was an avid basketball fan, his family has said.
The shooting at a high school in Florida is believed to have been committed by two students, and the 18-year-old was among the people who died.
He attended Liberty High School in Tampa, Florida, where his mother and his sister were studying, and was the oldest in his class.
The shooter, who authorities have not yet named, was found dead in a car after police said he shot himself.
His family, who had not spoken publicly since the shooting, released a statement on Monday saying that they are devastated by the loss of their son and his friends, who they described as a great family.
“We are so incredibly proud of his love for the game, his desire to be a better man and his faithfulness to his family,” the statement said.
“As a family, we are so grateful to the people of Tampa, the Florida Department of Children and Families, and all of the first responders who helped with the search for this young man.”
Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers as they grieve the loss.
“A wonderful person.”
The teen’s father, Matthew Jones, posted on Twitter: “Our family is deeply saddened by the tragic death of our son and other loved ones.”
Jones said he had been in touch with his son’s parents on Monday.
He said the boy’s father had been told by a relative that he would receive an “important phone call” soon.
“He was in good spirits, and he was a very kind person,” he said.
“He was very thankful to be alive and to have his parents and his sisters come and visit him at the hospital.”
The Florida Department for Children and Family said in a statement: “We have identified a man who was a student at Liberty High, and is currently hospitalized in critical condition.”
Authorities have said the shooting happened in a parking lot at a school on the school’s campus.
The shooting was described as “domestic violence”.
Witnesses told police the gunman entered the building, opened fire and then left.
He was wearing a white shirt and black pants, and carrying a large gun.
Police said they are searching for the gunman.
The school is located near the intersection of Interstate 95 and Interstate 495 in Tampa.