Kevin Barbee, a 15-year-old McGavock High School student, was found dead of a gunshot wound to the face at an apartment in Hermitage, Tennessee, reports WSMV. His tragic death is made even more poignant by the fact that President Barack Obama will speak at Barbee’s high school less than 24 hours after his murder.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Barbee’s Friend Is Charged in His Death
One of Barbee’s friends, Kaemon Robinson, 17, has been charged with criminal homicide in relation to Barbee’s death, according to local media reports. The shooting occurred inside an apartment on Burning Tree Drive (above). Both Barbee and Robinson lived in the complex, in Hermitage, Tennessee. There were four students from McGavock High School in the apartment at the time of the shooting, including Barbee.
2. He Was Shot in the Face
UPDATE: teen who shot and killed McGavock sophomore is also a student at McGavock. Suspect is Kaemon Robinson, 17 pic.twitter.com/Y8aB5uKJQN
— WKRN (@WKRN) January 29, 2014
According to witnesses, Robinson was playing with a pistol when it discharged hitting Barbee in the face killing him. The gun has not been recovered by cops. On the morning of January 30, an attorney representing Robinson contacted police and told them that Robinson wanted to surrender.
3. The Suspect’s Lawyer Calls the Shooting a ‘Terrible Accident’
— quinn schuler (@quinnschuler) January 29, 2014
The McGavock statement read:
We are very saddened to learn about the death of a McGavock High School student last night. This young man’s life was just getting started, and his passing is a great tragedy.
Kaemon Robinson’s lawyer has released a statement on behalf of his client, reading:
This was a terrible accident. The gun was not Kaemon’s, and at the time he believed that it was not loaded. He never meant to fire it. He considered Kevin a friend and did not mean to hurt him. Kaemon deeply regrets this tragedy, and expresses his utmost sorrow to Kevin’s family.
4. Obama’s Visit to McGavlock High School Will Go Ahead as Planned
President Barack Obama is due to speak at McGavock High School at 4 p.m. on January 30 in a pre-planned event. There had been concerns from the White House that it wouldn’t be appropriate for the the president to speak there after such a tragic incident. McGavock Principal Robbin Wall told WSMV:
Knowing Kevin and the personality that he has, I don’t think he would want things just to stop. We’ll treat it with respect and the dignity like it should be, but in the same breath want to follow through with the commitments we have as well.
It’s reported that Obama will address Barbee’s death, but it’s not known if it will be in the context of gun control, a topic barely mentioned in Obama’s recent State of the Union address.
5. There Has Been an Outpouring of Public Grief
Over Twitter, Barbee’s friends and family are morning their great loss:
They killed my bro over nothing r.i.p Kevin barbee
— deiondre (@Asvp_gxldyy) January 30, 2014
“@sederrius: Who died at mcgavock!?” My cousin, 15 yr old Kevin Barbee.
— Jaida ⚓️ (@jasminedixon_) January 30, 2014
RIP Kevin Barbee. We remember you so well from the days at the Preston Taylor Boys & Girls Club/YMCA. Another… http://t.co/lWIgqImLjL
— Playmakers (@Peaceupgunsdown) January 30, 2014
R.I.P Lil Kevin Barbee #respect
— Match 1… (@AlsoKnownAs_Zay) January 29, 2014