‘He didn’t deserve this’: Police seek leads in 15-year-old’s fatal hit-and-run

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Days after a 15-year-old was struck and killed outside a DeKalb County apartment complex, investigators say they are still searching for the driver who hit him.

Quartez Mender, a student at DeKalb’s McNair High School, died early Wednesday after being hit by a car along Flat Shoals Parkway. The teenager had dreams of attending law school, his family said, but now they must plan his funeral instead.

“They hit him and left him like a dog,” Mender’s mother, Malaika Kulenga, told Channel 2 Action News. “He died on the street.”

ExplorePolice ID teen killed in hit-and-run while walking on DeKalb road

Mender’s family has organized an online fundraiser to assist in the teen’s funeral expenses, but they’re hopeful the driver who hit him will come forward.

“I pray we find justice,” his sister, Deniecia Kelly, wrote on the family’s GoFundMe page, adding her brother was killed by a driver who “didn’t have the heart to stop” or even check to see if he was OK.

“They left him (there) to die,” she wrote.

Mender was killed about 2 a.m. near the entrance of Orchard Walk Apartments, according to police. Kulenga told Channel 2 she was working at the time, and that her son was supposed to be home.

“Just like adolescents, they go through things, you know?” she said. “He had started rebelling a little bit, but he didn’t deserve this.”

The driver fled the scene, but the car likely has damage to the front passenger side, authorities said. On Friday, DeKalb police still hadn’t released a description of the vehicle or said if the driver may have been spotted on any nearby security cameras.

Mender’s family believes someone must have seen the crash or heard about what happened.

News of the 15-year-old’s death saddened his classmates and teachers alike, the district said Wednesday.

“The entire DeKalb County School District community, and especially the McNair High School family, mourns the passing of one of our students,” the DeKalb County School District said in an emailed statement. “Our hearts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.”

Anyone with information is asked to call DeKalb police at 770-724-7610. Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for a cash reward, by contacting Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.