Teen shot, killed in West Memphis
WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC) - A teen was shot and killed in West Memphis on Friday morning.
West Memphis Police responded to a “shots fired” call around 2 a.m. on East Harrison Avenue. That’s when they found 16-year-old Tylon Vail dead at the scene.
Those who knew Vail best say he had a bright future ahead of him.
"He was very good in basketball and excelled well academically in school. He was target. It wasn't his fault," said Desonia Matthews, family friend.
Desonia Matthews says her son Jeremiah and Vail grew up together.
"He always made me laugh," said Jeremiah.
They were weren't just friends, they were more like brothers.
"They were just together yesterday and he spend the night over the weekend, this past weekend. It's heartbreaking," said Desonia.
Vail’s death marks the sixth homicide in West Memphis this year.
"I talked to the mayor this morning and we're not tolerating it," said Robert Langston, WMPD assistant chief.
West Memphis Assistant Chief of Police Robert Langston says the department has called in reinforcement to help with the recent violence.
"Whether it's state prosecution, federal prosecution... we've had our federal entities in here for the whole week, just trying to find some of these other shooters from last week. We're going to do whatever we can to make sure the people that are committing these crimes in West Memphis don't stay in this community," said Langston.
He believes West Memphis has a gun problem.
"Gun laws changed in Arkansas a few years ago, it makes it easier for people to carry guns. What was a fist fight 3 or 4 or 5 years ago, has turned into a gun fight," said Langston.
Back on East Harrison Avenue, as loved ones mourn yet another loss in West Memphis, they are asking for just one thing to help heal the community.
"Prayer. Prayer and they need more events for the young people. Something for them to do, to get their mind on something that's positive, because you see little toddlers. I have a grandson and all you see on TV is violence," said Desonia.
Police are still looking for the person or people responsible for the shooting death of Taylon Vail.
Crittenden County Police are offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the recent shootings.
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