A teenage boy was shot and killed and another was injured after police said they went to a DeKalb County neighborhood to rob two people Sunday afternoon.
Police identified the slain teen as 14-year-old Ricarrio Hale. Hale’s family said he was a freshman at Miller Grove High School in Stonecrest, Channel 2 Action News reported. His 16-year-old friend, Myzell Neal, was taken to a hospital, according to a Dekalb police report.
Hale was found dead when officers responded to a call at the Aladdin Townhomes in Lithonia about 1:30 p.m. Sunday. An Atlanta man, identified as Paul Marsilas Wilson, was arrested and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault, the police report said.
On Sunday evening, police said further investigation revealed the shooting was the result of an attempted robbery.
Hale, Neal and two other teens arranged to meet Wilson and a woman to purchase an iPhone 6 in the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church parking lot, investigators told Channel 2. When they met, police said the teens took the phone and ran away without paying.
However, Hale family spokesman Jacques Hall said one of the other teens took the phone without Hale’s involvement.
“When the kid decided he was going to actually take the phone from the people they went to meet, a lady brandished a gun,” Hall told Channel 2. “He yelled, ‘She has a gun,’ and all of the kids took off running.”
They were pursued by the two adults, and shots were fired. Hale was shot in the chest, and Neal was hit in the arm, Channel 2 reported.
Hale’s brother, Shamdarius Echols, said the teen loved to play basketball and football. He was one of 11 siblings.
“He’s not a bad kid,” Echols told Channel 2 from the scene.
Hall disputed police accounts that Hale knew about the robbery, adding that the teen who took the phone told police everyone in the group knew about it, the news station reported. Police charged Neal with misdemeanor theft.
“Hopefully sooner than later, they’ll get to the bottom of this and recant that story, so that his family can sleep and this kid won’t be painted as some kind of criminal at 14 years old,” Hall said.
The shooting remains under investigation. The woman involved was taken into custody but not charged.
The police department is urging those who use online and mobile apps to conduct transactions to meet in safe places like police precincts.
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