Friends mourn college student, killed by gunfire at New Year's Eve party

Gunfire killed a 19-year-old man in Far Northeast Dallas, early Sunday morning.

Bullets were found lodged in nearby buildings and at least one other victim was taken to the hospital from Azure Banquet Hall. It's the second fatal shooting in the area since July.

By all accounts, Christian Dawson was a laid back guy with a great sense of humor and a lot of potential. The college student was home for the holidays and attending a New Year’s Eve party with former classmates when someone started firing at the crowded banquet hall.

Current and former Hebron High School students held a vigil for Dawson, Sunday. He was a varsity football player and 2015 grad.

“A lot of the people he was with were former players. They were all together out having a good time,” said Dawson’s former coach, Brian Brazil.

The 19-year-old was home for the holidays from Langston University in Oklahoma, attending a party on New Year's Eve at the Azure Banquet Hall on the second floor of a Northeast Dallas shopping strip. A nearby shop owner says it appears the shooter opened fire from outside on street level. Two bullets tore through a first floor furniture store, lodging into a far wall. The rest sprayed into the large glass windows of the banquet hall.

Coach Brazil says the group left as fast as they could, then realized Dawson had been shot. He later died at the hospital.

“He was one of those young men that you knew was going to go off and do great things. Just the kind of young man he was,” said Brazil.

Investigators were on the scene through Sunday afternoon, collecting evidence the gunman left behind. In July, a 19-year-old woman was shot in the head leaving Azure. Police say a bystander was caught in crossfire.

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