‘I just want my son back’ | Mother speaks out after 10-year-old killed by stray bullet

Police in Virginia say 10-year-old Keontre Thornhill died after a stray bullet went through his home Friday night.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A mother is speaking out two days after a stray bullet hit and killed her 10-year-old son.

Portsmouth police say 10-year-old Keontre Thornhill died after a stray bullet went through his home on Farragut Street Friday night. Portsmouth Police Chief Stephen Jenkins called Keontre an innocent bystander.

“My baby had nothing to do with it,” said Kevina Thornhill, Keontre’s mother. “My baby wasn’t a troublemaker. He wasn’t outside. Nothing! He’s not into this street life. He shouldn’t have been taken away from me.”

Chief Jenkins said the shooting started as an argument between teenage girls. 

“This tragedy was the result of a dispute between teenage girls that erupted into a scenario of irreparable violence,” said Chief Jenkins. 

“I just want my son back. I just want him back,” Thornhill said. 

13News Now spoke to Thornhill at a vigil for her son Sunday evening. Loved ones filled Farragut Street with red balloons, Keontre’s favorite color. 

Thornhill describes Keontre as caring and respectful. She calls him an old soul. He leaves behind his parents and four siblings.

“He would rub my back and tell me, ‘Mama everything’s going to be okay.’ And he’s not here for me to hear his voice and tell me everything’s going to be okay,” the mother said.

Chief Jenkins joined the crowd, too. 

“It’s unfortunate that we have to be here for a celebration of life for a 10-year-old. Parents are not supposed to bury their children,” the chief said. 

Jenkins said he’s tired of the senseless violence in the city. He called on the community to “do better.”

“It’s not going to change unless you change it!” Chief Jenkins told the crowd of people. 

Police arrested 31-year-old Shawnday Ross and charged her with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Detectives are still searching for a person of interest, 26-year-old Cleon Banks who is considered armed and dangerous.

Chief Jenkins couldn’t say where the investigation stands with the teenagers involved. He did tell 13News Now, “Every single one that I have the ability to find and charge, we plan to do within the confines of Virginia law.”

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