BARGERSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Kashius Davis was a fighter whose short life began with a rough start.
“Kash” was born three months early, weighing only 2.5 pounds, and spent months in a neonatal intensive care unit. Before he left the hospital, he was diagnosed with a MRSA infection.
“I just really didn’t think he could possibly live,” said Donna Poole, his maternal grandmother.
Kash beat the infection and thrived against the odds. He was “so chubby” at his NICU reunion, doctors didn’t believe it was him, Donna said.
He eventually towered over his older cousin, Aspen Poole, and often reminded her boyfriend to treat her well.
“He was definitely like a brother to me. We would always check up on each other and call each other,” Aspen said.
Kash was also a protective and loyal friend, relatives told News 8.
In middle school, he shaved his head to support a classmate with alopecia.
“I’m so proud of you! Cutting your hair to help support Parker was such a brave and kind thing to do! You rock!” his teacher wrote in a card, dated Nov. 2016.
The day before Halloween, Kash tried to help a friend who was caught in a love triangle. He confronted a teen believed to be involved with his friend’s girlfriend, according to his family.
Kash planned to meet Marcus Salatin, 16, for a fist fight in the Foxberry Trace subdivision of Greenwood, authorities said.
No blows were exchanged. When Kash and two friends arrived at the meeting location, Salatin pulled out a gun and fired multiple rounds into their vehicle, according to charging documents.
A 19-year-old in the backseat was injured. Kash, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, died at the scene.
Kenny Poole, his grandfather, felt like “life was over for a little bit” when he learned about Kash’s death.
“You think it’s a nightmare. You think you’re going to wake up and you just don’t wake up,” he told News 8.
On Thursday, prosecutors charged Salatin with murder and aggravated battery.
The move to charge Salatin as an adult brought Kenny and Donna “some peace” amid indescribable anguish, they said.
Kash unknowingly wrote his own obituary. His family used portions of an essay he wrote for an English class, titled “Letter About Me.”
“I am the most loyal person you will ever meet, because I take care of anybody that has ever done the same for me,” he wrote.
Kenny urged his grandson’s peers to recognize the fleeting and precious nature of life; the infant who fought to stay alive died two months before his 16th birthday while trying to fight for a friend.
“We’ll miss him all the time,” Kenny said.