Apartment Community Grieves Loss Of 11-Year-Old Shooting Victim - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/19/04

Apartment Community Grieves Loss Of 11-Year-Old Shooting Victim

An East Lubbock community remains in shock after an 11 year-old boy was fatally shot Saturday evening, leaving behind many unanswered questions.

Witnesses say the boy was playing with friends outside the Parkway Village Apartments around 7:45 p.m. Saturday night. That's when the boy was shot in the stomach. He was taken to University Medical Center where he later died. But what police are unsure of is who shot the boy and how he got the gun.

Witnesses have conflicting stories, some say the boy found the gun on a stairway inbetween two apartments. Others say the boy was handed the gun by an adult. But while police continue to search for those answers. The friends that had become family to this little boy continue to grieve.

NewsChannel 11 spoke to a resident who considered the loving boy, fondly known as "Tuna", as one of her very own. "Everybody's in shock, they can't believe it happened, and everybody thinks it could have been my child," said Rita Green, a resident of Parkway Village for more than 18 years, explains her community is feeling the aftermath after the boy was shot and killed Saturday evening.

Just minutes before the shooting, Green says he was in her apartment playing with her grandchildren. "Somebody said a little boy had got shot and we went down there and it was him, they were putting him in the ambulance," explains Green.

The little boy known as "Tuna" who she grew to know and love as her very own grandchild didn't live in the complex but frequently visited. She says he was always well-behaved around her grandchildren.

"If they said anything disrespectful, act any way he would always tell them don't act that way around grown ups, don't do this...he was real sweet," she recalls. This makes it difficult to understand why the boy was put in what Green calls a deadly situation.

"It's just senseless, it shouldn't have happened at all, you just don't leave guns around so kids can get a hold of them, it's sad. When I woke up today I was crying. Every time I think about it I'm crying, kids shouldn't have to go through stuff like that, be afraid to play in their own community because something is going to happen," says Rita Green.

Green adds that she will continue to be the watchful eyes over all the children in her neighborhood. "Try to watch out for them and be there for them and love them," she says.

Police are investigating the shooting as a homicide.

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