City leaders speak out on recent shootings of two New Haven teens

NEW HAVEN --  Progress is being made in the investigations of separate shootings in which two New Haven teens were gunned down within a six day span last week.

Police have made an arrest in the shooting of a 13 year old, who sustained non-life threatening injuries. They also now how some leads in the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old, who was laid to rest Tuesday.

Tyrick Keyes, 14, was building a future as a dancer as part of the local anti violence group, "Ice the Beef." But, a there was a bit of irony in his dance performance during a tribute to highly publicized shooting victims Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin.

"The kid got shot in the dance and he (Tyriek) played a surgeon and he danced over to the kid and operated on him," said Chaz Carmon, the Organizer for Ice the Beef.

Full of emotion, following the two-hour funeral, Eliza Vargas, a fellow performer, for Ice the Beef, said Keyes was "always laughing, and joking and dancing. He was the sunshine of our program."

And, he was the sunshine of his mother's life.

"From the day he came out, I knew he was going to be somebody and he became that someone.," said Demethra Telford, Keyes' mother.

Police believe Keyes, who would've been a high school freshman, was shot after a dispute at a party, which is a sign of the times, according to New Haven Police Chief, Anthony Campbell.

"We've reached a place in our society where were kids have disputes and then they have access to weaponry," he said. "The consequences are devastating and are irrevocable."

And, Campbell says it is his goal to have no future funerals for teens, who die like Keyes did.

"It really happens because we, together, collaboratively, as a community, have not stepped up and done what we need to," he said.

Campbell says true justice prevails when police help the community overcome fear "that grips the community and stops them from giving us information as to who did this ."

There has been positive movement into the shooting of Keyes, who died four days later.

"We have had some community members, who are working with us," Campbell said.

Better news, though, in a Saturday afternoon shooting, in which a 13-year-old was shot in the leg. Police, Tuesday morning, made an arrest at the suspect's Lilac Street home.

"I'm told by an assistant chief the person has confessed to the crime," said Campbell.

21-year-old Charles Worthington, charged with assault in the first degree, carrying a pistol without a permit and risk of injury, is being held on $1 million bond

In memory of Keyes, there will be a "Stop The Violence" White Balloon Drop held at Goffe Street Park Wednesday afternoon from 3 until 5.