Houston-area dancer with bright future gunned down

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The mother of an up-and-coming dancer is pleading for help finding her son's killer after his promising future ended in an instant.

Jehlan Vaughn was known for his incredible moves and masterful choreography for several big music stars.

"My name is Jehlan Vaughn and I'm from Houston," he said in a dance tryout video.

And when 20-year-old Jehlan Vaughn danced, he was in a world of his own.

"Dancing is my way away from the world. It's my passion," he said.

The Middle College High School grad had the talent to back up his passion. His moves were riveting. His mom says she remembers the day when her starting linebacker decided he wanted to dance.

"I was pretty shocked when he first came to me and said I don't want to play football anymore. I want to dance," said Liz Vaughn.

Jehlan followed his passion. In no time he became one of Houston's most well-known dancers and choreographers.

"He was a part of the opening act for the SCREAM tour and getting to perform in Atlanta, New York, Philly and a lot of big markets, so he was getting that great experience of being able to tour," she added.

He had made a name for himself and was on the verge of success. But it was cut short in an instant.

Jehlan had just finished a big dance gig at South by Southwest. On the morning of March 21, police say he was murdered at his girlfriend's apartment in west Houston.

"I fell apart. It was like any mother's worst nightmare," said Liz Vaughn.

His murder is a mystery. The killer is still on the loose, and police are still on the case.

"My child's life mattered, and he absolutely deserves that justice," she added.

Monday night, Liz Vaughn, who's a local singer, came together with other artists for a special night of dance and music to remember Jehlan and his gift, which he'd dreamed of sharing with the world.

"Tonight is about another celebration of who he was and who he was about to become," she added.

So far, a GoFundMe account set up to help pay for his funeral expenses has raised nearly $20,000.
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