Family of teen killed in downtown Knoxville shooting says gun violence needs to stop


KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The family of Kendale Garner, 18, who was killed Wednesday night in a shooting on Hall of Fame Drive, says gun violence has to stop. Garner’s mother Nina has lost one of her sons and the other is now on crutches because of a gunshot wound to the leg.

Demetrius Holmes says he and his younger brother Kendale were walking to their grandmother’s apartment when a group of guys came up to them and got into a fight. That’s when the shooting happened.Previous story:Teen charged in downtown Knoxville shooting

“Next thing you know, they just started shooting, next thing I tried to get my brother out of the way, I just couldn’t,” said Holmes.

Holmes was shot in the leg and survived, but his brother Kendale was shot in the stomach and died. A 17-year-old has been charged in the murder. Holmes says he doesn’t have his best friend anymore.

“When you’re used to hanging with your own brother every day, every moment of the day and just laughing, talking about everything in life, it’s all gone now. It was great. It’s a lot on me and for him to be gone and not in my life and he’s not here physically and I can’t see him. It hurts me,” said Holmes.

Nina Garner’s youngest son is dead.

“It makes me feel lost because I lost my baby, my baby was 18 and he lost his life for no reason,” said Garner.

It really hurts her heart because she says he was turning his life around.

“Kendale had got an application and was going to turn it in the next day, but he didn’t make it,” said Garner.

She’s trying to make sense of this.

“It shouldn’t happen like this. Why should we be scared for our life to walk back and forth from the store? We shouldn’t be scared,” she said.

Garner’s mother is making a plea to stop the gun violence.

“Too many of our black kids are dying, please just stop it. As a mother, I lost my baby to violence, gun violence. Please y’all, please just stop it,” she said.

The family is working on funeral arrangements. Nina Garner says they need help because neither she nor her sons have insurance.

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