Teen who shot, killed 13-year-old appears before judge

Young boy shot and killed overnight in west Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The man accused of shooting and killing a teenager early Tuesday morning made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said a woman who was driving along Tuckaseegee Road near Parkway Avenue was flagged down by a frantic pedestrian.

There, on the corner, she saw a young boy who had been shot.

Police identified the teen as 13-year-old Khalil Malik Cousart.

Damien Wright, 16, is charged with murder, according to police. The shooting was not a random act of violence.

Wright was ordered to remain in jail without bond until his bond hearing August 29th.

Both families tell WBTV's Dedrick Russell that they think the shooting was an accident.

The CMPD said the 13 year old had been hit by gunfire at least once in the chest,however; two shell casings were found nearby.

Neighbors said they heard at least five gunshots.

Emergency rescue workers raced to the scene and found the teen shot.

Friends of Khalil believe this was an accident.  They tell WBTV the alleged shooter, Wright, was aiming his gun at someone else in a moving car who he thought was threatening him.  Friends say when he pulled the trigger, the bullet went into the 13 year old's chest and he died.  But police say this was no accident.

Friends say the alleged shooter and victim were friends.  They say they often walked the streets together and can't figure out how this happened.

"Friends don't hurt friends," Khalil's friend Sierra Martinez said.  "It wasn't fair.  He's three years younger than you. He is smaller than you. Did you have to shoot him?"

Neighbors are tired of the violence of young people.

"The grown ups ain't dying no more," Khalil's friend Joy Banks said.  "Its us.. it's us."

Banks showed up at a make shift memorial Khalil's friends created at the scene of the shooting.  She wants people in the neighborhood to change their ways. And she is willing to make the first step.

"I ain't no goddess myself," Banks said.  "I do wrong. I need to start with me.  I need to start being a better person first."

Charlotte - Mecklenburg school (CMS) officials say Khalil would have started the 8th grade this year at Ashley Park.

Organizers of Hyaet's House say Khalil was a good kid.  They say Khalil participated in an after school program.  They also say the victim was interested in going to college and even went on a college tour to learn more about life after high school.

"We felt like this is a kid that was going to make it," Hyaet House Director Greg Jarrell said. "He was doing well for himself. He was responsible and he was fun to be around.  We all have very heavy hearts today."

CMS also says the suspect was a student at West Charlotte High school. He would have started the 9th grade.

Officers roped off the area, as crime scene investigators were joined with homicide detectives to try to determine what happened.

Police said the individual who was with the victim and had flagged down the driver had fled the scene.

If you have information that could help detectives, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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