Saturday, February 22, 2003

Family, friends mourn teenager

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Candle flames flickered Friday as raindrops pelted the makeshift memorial erected to a 15-year-old North Fairmount teen gunned down the night before, allegedly by a 13-year-old neighbor whose relatives said had been bullied by the older boy and two others.

Signs carrying condolences to the family of Arick Hudson were propped precariously against a brick wall feet from the scene of the Thursday night shooting. Duct tape held one sign to the wall while other symbols of mourning - two teddy bears and three fabric roses wrapped in plastic - sat on the ground.

Police said Arick, along with 14- and 15-year-old brothers Michale and Jatawn Swan, argued with the younger boy outside a convenience store at Beekman and Dempsey streets shortly before 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

The younger teen allegedly pulled out a .38-caliber semi-automatic handgun and fired shots at the older boys, killing Arick and wounding Michale and Jatawn.

Michale, 14, remained hospitalized in critical condition Friday with a gunshot wound to his back. He is possibly paralyzed, officials said.

Jatawn was also shot from the rear, but the bullet struck his shoulder, officials said, adding that he was treated and released from Good Samaritan Hospital.

Arraigned by a Hamilton County Juvenile Court magistrate Friday, the 13-year-old is charged as a juvenile with murder purposefully committed with a firearm and two counts of felonious assault.

The boy will have another hearing March 6 to determine whether he'll be classified a serious youthful offender, meaning he could be held in detention until he is 21.

Officials said the 13-year-old has no prior contacts with the criminal justice system.


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