Kendarrius Martin was shot and killed in broad daylight in the middle of the parking lot at Wiregrass Park last May.
And thanks to Alabama’s youthful offender laws, the man who pulled the trigger is looking at an early exit from jail, and Martin’s mother feels he should be held more accountable.
“It was like I was dreaming,” said Tyeesha Martin, Kendarrius’ mother. “Like this couldn’t be real.”
But it was real.
On May 23, 2017, Tyeesha Martin received the news no parent wants to hear.
Her 19-year-old son, Kendarrius Dewayne Martin had been shot and killed.
“And as KD was turning around to go back into the gym, on a DPD camera, that young man got out of the car and shot my baby down like a dog,” said Martin.
That young man, whose name cannot be released because of his juvenile status, was a 15-year-old from Panama City and is scheduled to be released from jail when he turns 18.
Kendarrius’ mom feels like any murderer, regardless of age, should receive more than just a couple of years behind bars.
“Wrong is wrong, no matter what age you are,” said Tyeesha. “If you commit an adult crime, you’ve got to stand up as a man and do the time, because if the shoe were on the other foot and if it was Kendarrius, he would deserve everyday that they gave him.”
Just before his death, Kendarrius had graduated from Dothan High and had received a scholarship to play football in Minnesota.
“It’s hard when you can’t sleep, when you can’t eat, you can’t work,” said Tyeesha. “It feels like your soul has been taken out of your body because you are so weak, and all you can think about is ‘my baby is gone, but why?”
Tyeesha is hoping her words will not only get the teenager who killed her son charged as an adult, but will bring attention to future similar tragedies.
“For justice for KD,” said Tyeesha. “For this to be done the right way – to save somebody else’s child, not just my child because I don’t have to worry about him anymore. It’s other kids out here I’m worried about. It’s kids out here doing the same thing that these boys did and it’s got to stop. Whatever I’ve got to do to get justice for my baby, that’s what I’m here to do, and that’s what i’m going to do.”
Tyeesha is holding a public march today at 3 p.m. at Wiregrass Park where her son was murdered.