NewsRegion C Palm Beach CountyWest Palm Beach


Community struggles to save itself after deadly shooting

Posted at 7:04 PM, May 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-15 19:04:31-04

Family members and friends in disbelief that 21-year-old John Courtney is gone. He was fatally shot Monday night on Tamarind Avenue and 20th Street.

His mother Latoya Christian misses him.

"He said mom, I'm going to the store, and I'll be right back and then he gave me a kiss on the cheek."

His Godmother Tisha Johnson was fighting back the tears.

"We would sit out here have fun, me and him. I was like his second mama." 

Courtney will never visit his favorite park or use his favorite swing.

Youth mentor Ricky Aiken with Innercity Innovators knew Courtney. As I was talking with him, the victim's younger brother walked up.

"Hey come here man. Be strong alright, you got my number?"

It's another person Aiken knew, dead due to violence.

"Playful guy, like he was really child-like. He had some mental disabilities and everyone in the community knew that," Aiken said.

Courtney is the latest to die in a rash of shootings near or along Tamarind Avenue. Aiken tries to convince kids to not resort to violence.

"The conditions that created the violence that we see in our community they didn't happen overnight, so solving the problem isn't going to be an overnight process. It's going to take a generations of faithfulness and commitment to these issues."

But he will not give up, saying if they can reduce the violence they can turn this area around.

"So that the kids that are growing up now in this community know that we are not helpless."

"He was a good person, he got along with everybody, he didn't have problems with nobody. He didn't deserve this and I want justice," Courtney's mother said.

Anyone with information about the shooting should call CrimeStoppers. You can remain anonymous.

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