DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - DeKalb County police officers have made an arrest in the shooting death of a 17-year-old boy Sunday afternoon. Police charged 23-year-old Tavares Spencer with the teen victim’s murder.
While family members of the victim said the suspect’s arrest is somewhat of a relief, it doesn’t take away their pain.
"This child was 17 years old … in the beginning of his life," the victim’s aunt Chandrise Ross told FOX 5 Atlanta.
It was a very tense and emotional scene Sunday evening inside Heritage Reserve apartments on Creste Lane where police said the teen was gunned down just before 1 p.m.
DeKalb County police said investigators found the boy lifeless at the scene.
Ross and another woman, Sandy Cooper, who identified themselves as the teen’s aunts, did not want to share the victim’s name, but said their nephew was just playing basketball in the complex when an older man shot and killed him.
They told FOX 5 their family is now left with many questions as detectives conduct their investigation.
"We’re trying to figure when it’s [going to] stop. This was a good child," Ross said. "School, basketball, athlete—he was a good child, he never hurt nobody, he wasn’t disrespectful."
"We just need to know more evidence and information on what happened to my nephew. He was a twin, he was a senior this year," Cooper stated.
Within hours of the shooting, DeKalb County police identified Spencer as the gunman.
"So you mean to tell us if the police don’t kill us, we kill each other? We fighting two wars," an emotional Ross told FOX 5.
"It’s kind of like devastating for us. You took a 17-year-old’s life. He was humble. He loved to play video games. He loved his sports," Cooper explained.
Family members said they want Spencer put away for taking their nephew away. Ross and Cooper told FOX 5 the family is doing all they can to try and help police make sure that happens.
"We got the whole community out here looking for the weapon that killed him, took his life … 17 years old," Ross said.
They’re also calling on the community to stop resorting to shooting.
Spencer is currently in custody at the DeKalb County Jail. If you have any information that can help police, give detectives a call.