Mother of slain teen speaks out, calls for end to violence

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- The mother of a teenager who was shot and killed Tuesday is speaking out. A group gathered outside of Tenille Bright’s home, calling for an end to gun violence, after the death of her son Nicholaus Scroggins’ II.

“I’m going to miss hugging my son and kissing my son,” said Bright.

The 14-year-old  was found shot to death in the middle of the 5200 block of Lillie Street around 4:20 a.m. Tuesday.  The Allen County Coroner ruled his death a homicide, the 15th in the county this year.

Bright said Scroggins was a typical 14-year-old boy. He loved sports and loved being the center of attention on and off the football field.

“When he was in the room he got attention…that’s who he was,” she said. “When he was on the field playing football, you better watch him or you were going to miss something special.”

Scroggins was an 8th grader at Miami Middle School and he was only beginning his football career.

“When I found out my cousin had died I thought why is God doing this to us?” said Ray Walker who is Scroggins’ cousin. “He didn’t do anything wrong. I don’t know why God did this to us.”

Scroggins spent most of his time with his two older brothers, and cousins who were like brothers. Even though he was the youngest of the group, they say he was wise beyond his years.

“He all kept us together and kept us up,” said El Wells, who’s also a cousin. “He showed us a lot of things and we showed him some things as well.”

“He was the youngest but his mindset was probably older than ours.” said Scroggins’ brother Immanuel Walker.

Scroggins’ mother said nobody should ever have to go through this. She wants people to realize that it’s not an isolated issue. It could happen to anyone.

“This easily could have been one of your kids,” she said. “They always think it’s the bad kid down the street and that’s not our problem. But that bad kid down the street killed my son. Now that is my problem.”

Scroggins was the second teen to be killed by gunfire in less than a week. On June 16, 15-year-old John Bennett Jr. was found shot in an alleyway near the intersection of Avondale Drive and Baxter Street. Neighbors told police they heard shots fired and found the teenager down.

During the gathering Friday afternoon, the group walked around the block, and shared memories of Scroggins. They also released balloons at the mother’s home on Fairfax Avenue.

One person attending the event told NewsChannel 15 about 300 people showed up to the vigil.

There have been no arrests made in the death of Scroggins.

A walk against violence will be held Saturday morning at 9 a.m. It starts at the Unity Barbershop and ends at the Martin Luther King bridge.

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