Suspect in child's shooting faces judge

April 16, 2008 9:25:20 PM PDT
Sixteen-year-old Lensy Gill of Durham is charged in the Tuesday night shooting of a 9-year-old boy.

During his first court appearance on Wednesday a judge shook his head and slowly said, "16 years old."

The age of the suspect seemed to bother the judge as much as the crime. He set Gill's bond at $2 million.

The Assistant District Attorney says the teen confessed to walking on Thelma street, exchanging words with people in a car then shooting at the car several times.

The little boy was standing in his family's driveway as a relative worked on a car.

A stray bullet struck him between the eyes. With it lodged in his head paramedics rushed him to Duke, where authorities say he's in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Durham Police Chief Jose lopez says youth in durham need to know that a situation like this could happen to them.

"The responsibility for all of this does not lie completely on law enforcement," Lopez said. "I cannot arrest my way out of this. This is something that law enforcement and the community have to work together to address."

Friends say Gill was carrying a gun for protection.

Montez Brandon said, "because it's Durham."

Quanteria McNair said its because there's a lot of hatred in this world.

They say Gill is on probation, something police could not confirm because he's a juvenile. His friends who showed up in court to support Gill say he was was trying to turn his life around.

McNair said Gill goes to school and that he has a baby on the way.

Something his girlfriend of two years confirmed without giving her name.

"Its crazy. Now I got to go through nine months without my baby's daddy," she worried.

McNair added, "she's got to take care of the child without the daddy. The daddy might not ever see the child."

It's another way violence affects youth, youth not even born.

Gill is charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill Inflicting Serious Injury, Terrorizing the Public and Possessing a weapon as a juvenile. Chief Lopez says officers don't give kids guns, people in the community do. He hopes a Youth Violence Forum being held at the Hayti Heritage Center Wednesday night will be the next step in stopping that.


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