PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — An arrest for the deadly shooting of a loved one doesn’t necessarily mean closure.
On Tuesday, Portsmouth Police arrested a 14-year-old and charged him with manslaughter for the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Kemon Battle.
“It feels like justice. it doesn’t feel like closure,” explained Tyquisha Artis, the victim’s aunt. “He got manslaughter, he didn’t get murder. The charges should have a been a little harsher.”
Kemon’s cousin, school board member De’Andre Barnes, says news of the arrest was bittersweet because the suspect was also just a kid.
“I’m kinda hurt that it’s just another kid,” said Barnes. “That seems to be the growing statements from everybody that another kid was involved so now we have two kids who lost their life pretty much.”
Barnes says he knows the young suspect though his involvement in community outreach programs.
“He was just another kid just like all the other kids, when we were out there doing programs he would actually participate in the activities as far as the sports.”
According to Barnes, the community failed both young men, the victim and the suspect.
“When a problem happens it didn’t start today, it started a long time ago so,” Barnes said.
It was also the community however that came forward with information and tips to help make sure Kemon’s killer didn’t walk free.
“I’m just, you know, happy that people did come forward and feel you know sympathy for me and my family,” Tyquisha said.
Because he’s a juvenile, police have not released the name of the 14-year-old in custody.