Investigation continues after teen killed near birthday party

Investigation continues after teen killed near birthday party

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by BEN THOMPSON / NewsChannel 36

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WCNC.com

Posted on March 19, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 18 at 11:52 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg police and Charlotte Housing Authority are investigating a shooting Saturday night in southwest Charlotte that killed a 17-year-old.

Police were called to the Cedar Knoll housing development on Lone Pine Lane off Nations Ford Road around 11:45 Saturday night.

Investigators say they found the victim, 17-year-old John Kempson, with a gunshot wound.  He died at the hospital a short time later.

It appears Kempson and many other teens were trying to go to a birthday party for a Harding University High School senior held at the Cedar Knoll community center, but were turned away.

"My son did not know the gentleman who was killed.  He did not know the guy that shot him," said Melissa Haywood, the mother of the HUHS student who hosted the party.

Haywood said only about 50 people were invited to her son's party, but near the end of the night a crowd showed up outside.  She says police officers arrived after a noise complaint, and told the crowd they had to leave.

On Monday, Charlotte Housing Authority met with investigators to see what happened and to see if regulations were followed in relation to the community center.  Haywood had reserved the center until midnight Saturday night and says she had ended the party around 11:30 p.m.

"We'll have to go back and look at the policies we have in place and if they need minor adjustments, make those adjustments," said Deborah Clark, communications director for the CHA.

Law enforcement believes Kempson got into an argument with 19-year-old Armani McDonald and 18-year-old Terry Sekyere.

Authorities say Sekyere assaulted Kempson at some point during the argument.  Sekyere is being charged with assault, while McDonald is facing a murder charge.

Haywood says Kempson, McDonald and Sekyere were not invited to her son's party.  She's hoping that her son doesn't end up being associated with the violence.

"He's very popular.  He's an athlete.  He has a scholarship.  And I don't want this to hinder, like he's responsible for this," Haywood added.
 

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