NewsLocal News


Son of FAMU Head Football Coach recovering after shooting

Simmons family continues calls to stop the violence after son shot
Posted at 6:58 PM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 18:58:38-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Louis Tre Zanders is a senior at Florida A&M University. He was shot just after three Sunday morning on Perry Street near Bragg Memorial Stadium.

Zanders mother is Shaia Simmons and his father is Willie Simmons, the head football coach at Florida A&M.

In a Facebook post, Shaia Simmons thanked the community for their support. In part of her post she writes, "In a small space of time as Tre stood in his own front yard being a typical, fun-loving college kid, trouble found him."

Shaia Simmons says Zanders was in his front yard near Bragg Memorial Stadium when the shooting happened.

"Our beautiful son is a living testimony! In seconds, it didn’t matter how we raised him, his high GPA as a graduating college senior, his service in the community, his love for his family, his kindness to animals, his plans for law school this didn’t matter that he doesn’t hang with the “wrong crowd” or that he doesn’t engage in criminal activity," she wrote on Facebook.

The Simmons family advocates ending gun violence in the community. The couple witnessed a deadly shooting at the North Florida Fair in 2019.

Shortly after that shooting, Willie Simmons partnered with the police department and Leon County schools to inspire young people in the community to stop the violence.

"Here in the Capital City -- seeing what's happening in our community in the last few months with the gun violence -- with the amount of shootings that we've had -- myself, some other members of the community felt that it was important that we do something," Simmons said at one of the events in January 2020.

FAMU Athletic Director Kortne Gosha says the FAMU community is throwing more support behind the family's cause.

"Last year when he was out in the community advocating for, protesting against gun violence in our community. It's a reminder as to that commitment to reaffirm we support coach and we're lifting him and his family up in this time," said Gosha.

He says this shooting has impacted the entire department.

"We talk about the "FAMUly" and that is the atmosphere that we believe in. That's what we instill in all of our students, fans, and alumni. We're in this thing together. There are times when adversity comes, like right now, but we're going to get through it united," said Gosha.

During a text exchange with her on Monday, Simmons told ABC 27 her son is strong and courageous right now.

"Even as he endures so much physical pain and uncertainty, he's more worried about missing class, his dog missing him and he wants us to bring his chess set to the hospital," she wrote. "These small yet genuine requests remind us what makes Tre so amazing and his recovery promising."

Zanders is a senior at FAMU with plans to go to law school in the fall. As to what led to the shooting, police have not released any other details. Tallahassee Police Department says there are no suspects and no arrests have been made.