DeKalb high school student found shot dead in driveway

Keshon Kerns

Keshon Kerns

DeKalb County police are investigating the death of Keschon Kerns, a Southwest DeKalb High student and lacrosse player.

Kerns was missing from bed Sunday morning when his grandfather went to wake him for work, according to a police report released Tuesday. The 18-year-old was soon found in the driveway with three gunshot wounds — one each to the left wrist, shoulder and back.

Cousin Jamal Kerns, 20, who also lives at the house, went with his grandfather to the driveway on Harvest Hill Court off Wesley Chapel Road. His cousin lay in front of the grandfather’s Honda Accord, with his hands held together near his face and Nike sandals off his feet.

The sight was overwhelming.

“I was just trying to think what happened and who did it,” Jamal Kerns told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday. “I loved him to death, man.”

Jamal’s twin, Jamel Kerns, had the same reaction. He told the AJC he’s been saddened by the thought that he might have walked past the teen’s body hours before it was found.

The brothers said they were out the night before at a hookah bar and figured the 18-year-old was at home asleep. They said they came in at 3 or 4 a.m. and didn’t see their cousin in the darkened driveway.

It isn’t yet clear if he indeed was already there, but a neighbor told police he’d heard five gunshots at 10:30 or 11 p.m. the night before, the report said.

The twins and Keschon Kerns lived at the house with their grandfather. The victim’s mother died a year and a half ago from kidney failure.

The 18-year-old, who is survived by a twin sister, stayed busy with school, lacrosse and shifts at Tokyo Express. Jamal and Jamel Kerns were trying to talk him into playing football next year at Southwest DeKalb, his senior year, and encouraging him to apply for college afterward.

Now they’re searching their minds for why he’d fall victim to such violence.

“From what I’m hearing, from his school’s perspective, and from my perspective, he was a pretty popular person,” Jamel Kerns said.

Police haven’t said if they have a possible motive or any suspects. Asked Tuesday morning, a spokeswoman simply said the investigation was ongoing.

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