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Please see the message below shared by Najee's loving mother:

Gregory Najee Lewis Grimes. Savagely gunned down by a merciless monster cloaked in duplicity, our only child, Najee was murdered on the Fourth of July. That was 4 days ago, and his 4-Year old son, Ace, is still holding onto the bag of TNT Fireworks that he was supposed to set off with his daddy later that day. So, forgive me in advance if I ramble, or if I seem off, but the grief that my husband and I carry for our only child is unimaginable and the pain has rocked us.

It’s gut-wrenching to try to explain to Ace, why the “bad man” who shot his daddy, has no soul. Over here, we’re hurting. Nothing in the world can compare to the loss of a child due to the ignorance of gun violence.

My baby had a larger-than-life personality. Those who knew him will forever have treasured memories; Those who loved him as friends and family are blessed for all of time.

Najee was a phenom on the Varsity Football team at Inderkum High. That parlayed into a dynamic football career on the Blue Turf at Boise State. Those years at Boise helped to cultivate our son's return to Sacramento with a prestigious college degree. He graduated with Honors and returned home to work at the Roberts Family Development Center, pouring his heart into a community-based program for underserved children. We were so proud of the work he was doing under RFDC. He also worked with the Special Needs program at IHS, demonstrating his compassion and human-kindness.
One of the most inspiring things about my baby is that he knew how to be a friend. There was never any judgment. He just wanted to uplift his friends and family and challenge us all in the marathon. Of course, if he had shortcomings, he course-corrected because Najee believed in introspection. The man in the mirror had to be someone who reflected values, a sense of pride, accountability and integrity.

A week before Najee was murdered, he finally paid off his student loans, as well as his SUV. This was huge, because our son was in Escrow for a new home and wanted to be debt-free. He was grinding, making moves so that his dream of home-ownership was inevitable. It’s tormenting to think that he would have closed in a few days.

The stars were aligned for Najee, and he was on top of the world! I had helped him choose all of his new furniture and all the special things that would have completed the new home he was buying for himself and his son, Ace. And that is what rips at my soul.
Najee desperately wanted a beautiful home for Ace. It meant everything to him. That is why he had started his own staffing firm and worked so hard in the family business as well.

He was grinding to live the “American Dream” and be an awesome role model for his son. As a father, he was very present in Ace’s life --- from sharing custody to teaching Ace the value of character and good will. Ace is just like his dad. They have the same temperament and appreciation for life and the pursuit of happiness.
Now, Ace will grow up without his father. And my greatest fear is that as time passes, he will not remember all the times they bunked out in Ace’s tent, or the swimming lessons in preparation for his birthday pool party next month. Ace will not have the opportunuty to grip his daddy’s finger on the first day of Kindergarten next month. He will no longer take walks around the lake with Icey, their Malamute. Ace can’t fall asleep on his daddy’s chest, and he won’t have his daddy coach him in Pop Warner Football with the Inderkum Jr. Tigers this year. Those opportunities are forever gone.


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  • Sai Phomphakdy
    • $500 
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  • Anonymous
    • $100 
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  • Anonymous
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Organizer and beneficiary

Wanda Collier
Sacramento, CA
Deborah Lewis-Grimes

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