At Lakewood High School, here in St. Petersburg, everyone called him “Mo.” Mohammed Haitham was a track and field star at Lakewood, known for his long legs, big smile and good high jump scores.
After graduating in 2018 he joined the U.S. Navy. He went through boot camp and recently was assigned to flight crew training at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida. He was excited and decided to surprise his family in St. Petersburg by showing up for Thanksgiving; the 19-year-old didn’t look like a teenager any more.
“He looked like a man all of a sudden,” said Kim Walker, a longtime family friend.
His mother, a navy veteran herself works for the Veterans Administration.
They came to Florida and settled in St. Petersburg after the family lost their New Orleans home in Hurricane Katrina.
“Mo never lost his sense of humor. “He liked to laugh and liked to try to make you laugh.”
“He was an all-around great kid.”
“Mo” Haitham was killed at the Pensacola Naval Air Station this week by member of the Royal Saudi Air Force in this country for training.
He was 19 years old.
For those of us in Tampa Bay, he was our neighbor.