INDIANAPOLIS — A 14-year-old is facing a murder charge, accused of killing his older brother at a Kokomo apartment complex.
Kokomo police said they’re still conducting interviews into the incident that happened Saturday. However, officials said 17-year-old Jaylen Reed was able to tell officers he was shot by his younger brother before he died at an Indianapolis hospital.
“What goes through my mind, and our minds, is how and why,” said Major Brian Seldon, Kokomo Police Department. “Two lives have been ruined in this unfortunate situation, and you actually feel sorry for the family because they lost two of their family members.”
Saturday’s shooting in Kokomo is one of two unfortunate incidents involving family violence over the weekend.
Also on Saturday, officials said 74-year-old Bobbie Gene Hill died after a family altercation in Lawrence.
Sources said he was stabbed to death by his own stepson.
“It’s definitely a public health issue that we should all think about,” said Lindsay Stawick, associate director of the Domestic Violence Network, when asked about the impact of family violence cases.
“When looking at strategies to help lessen it, we need to really look at the complete community and the people that live in it,” she said. “We need to think about quality, public health education, mentoring programs.”
For young people especially, Stawick said mentorship programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana can make a world of difference.
“It really makes a huge difference if the young people in our communities, in our lives, have that kind, caring, consistent adult there,” she said. “That could really turn a life around. Not every young person has that kind, caring, consistent adult in their family or in their household.”
Looking at Saturday’s tragedy in Kokomo, Seldon hopes everyone, especially youth, use this as a call for change to find better ways to solve problems.
“Young people are quick to handle their conflict through means of violence, handguns, which we know that is not the proper way to handle conflict or resolution,” said Seldon. “So, hopefully, we can learn as a community. We can try to help these teenagers make better decisions.”