Moral Low Ground


Flint, Michigan Teen Shukur Brown Turns Himself In for New Year’s Shooting Death of Best Friend Gianni Herron

January 3, 2013 by Brett Wilkins in Crime & Punishment with 0 Comments

ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

A Michigan teen who shot and killed his best friend in the early morning hours of January 1 has turned himself in to police.

Shukur Brown, 16, of Flint claims the deadly shooting was an accident. Speaking at a Thursday press conference arranged by a local pastor, a distraught Brown wept as he explained to family members, the media and Flint police what happened just after 2 a.m. on Tuesday.

“He was my best friend,” Brown said of 15-year-old Gianni Herron as he wiped tears from his face. “I just want to say I’m sorry. I didn’t try to [kill Herron], it was an accident.”

“Everybody should turn in their guns,” Brown urged, pleading for others to help put an end to violence in the crumbling rust belt city of 101,000.

Attorney Glenn Cotton told reporters that the boys had obtained a gun and ammunition (but did not say how) and were playing with the weapon in the basement of a home on North Chevrolet Avenue when the weapon accidentally discharged, killing Herron.

“They weren’t treating them like guns (should be treated),” Cotton said. “It was easy for these guns to get had at 2 o’clock in the morning, easier than it was to get new shoes at Foot Locker.”

Pastor Robert J. McCathern of Joy Tabernacle Church, who arranged the press conference, said he, Brown, Cotton and other pastors wanted to raise awareness in the community in the hope that other young men might give up their guns.

“It’s important to the city of Flint to say this young man has asked all young men to put down their guns,” McCathern said as Brown stood behind him.

Flint police stood in the back of the room until the press conference was over before escorting Brown out of the room. Flint Police Chief Alvern Lock said that the teen would be taken to a police station to make a statement, possibly in the presence of his attorney, before possibly being held in a juvenile detention center.

Angela McClendon, Herron’s mother, told Michigan Live that she wasn’t upset with Brown.

“I’m not angry with the boy, it was an accident,” she said before addressing a plea to the community.

“I don’t think they should be playing with guns,” McClendon said. “The violence, it just needs to stop.”

Herron’s is the latest in a string of accidental shooting deaths that have been reported in recent weeks.

On December 15, 3-year-old Oklahoma toddler Ryder Rozier shot himself in the head with a gun he found in the home of his uncle, a state policeman.

Three days later, South Dakota teen Dalton Williams was shot and killed by his friend Braiden McCahren during horseplay.

On Christmas Day, 2-year-old Sincere Tymere Smith shot himself dead with his father’s gun in Conway, South Carolina.

And last Sunday, Justin Brueger accidentally shot and killed his 8-year-old son Easton Brueger while cleaning his rifle.

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