Family remembers teen shot, killed 1 year ago outside west side Popeye’s
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Tuesday marks exactly one year since someone shot and killed a 14-year-old boy outside a west side Popeye’s restaurant near 16th Street and Tibbs Avenue.
Police have not arrested anyone, but an IMPD spokesperson said Tuesday police have “several persons of interest.” The family of the victim, Anthony Lee Hughes Jr., planned a Tuesday night vigil outside the restaurant, where a makeshift memorial has stood for the last year.
Anthony Hughes Sr. says he visits the memorial every day.
“I’m not the same,” Hughes Sr. said. “I don’t eat right (any)more. I don’t watch TV right (any)more. Certain TV shows, I can’t watch. Certain songs and stuff, I can’t listen to,” Hughes Sr. said.
Police said a witness told detectives a car pulled into the parking lot and someone fired from the car.
IMPD counted at least nine murder victims and eight murder suspects under the age of 18 last year.
The department won’t go into details, but detectives say Hughes Jr. may have been involved in criminal activity at the time of his death.
“Despite his background, he was a baby. He still had a chance,” Hughes Sr. said.
Hughes Jr.’s aunt, Jacquece Hughes, describes him as an eager, motivated boy who had dreams of playing pro basketball.
“Our babies, they can’t be in the streets like this. It’s just unacceptable,” Jacquece Hughes said. “This could be anybody’s child. Keep them safe. Keep them close. Know what they’re doing and just keep them close.”
The Hughes family plans to release balloons into the sky Tuesday night in memory of Hughes Jr.
A local pastor, Ronald Covington, is raising money to open a youth center just blocks away from the spot where Hughes Jr. was shot. His goal? Keep kids safe and off the streets and keep families from a lifetime of pain.
“I hope they find whoever did this,” Jacquece said. “We’ll never give up.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477 or at crimetips.org.