15-year-old is behind bars after being charged in the April 28 homicide of 13-year-old Jeremiah Redding, Wilmington police said Thursday.
The teen, whom police did not identify because he is a juvenile, was charged on Wednesday with second-degree murder, illegal firearm possession, tampering with evidence and lying to police in connection with Redding's death.
His arrest comes about two weeks after Redding was shot in the face in the 100 block of Ashton Place just after 5 p.m. The boy was taken to the hospital, where he died two days later.
Redding, better known as “JJ” to friends and “King” to close relatives, was born on Mother's Day in 2006. He attended Bancroft Elementary and Bayard Middle School, and was well-loved by teachers and fellow students, an obituary said.
He was also known for his "infectious smile."
Redding's death sparked an outcry from community members, who said they worry that the gun violence that plagues Delaware is being overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic.
In a two-week period culminating in Redding's death, 11 people were shot in the state, seven of whom were teenagers.
Of those seven teenagers shot, three were just 13 years old.
"There's a lot of blaming going on about why these (shootings) are happening," said community activist and Wilmington chef Charly "Evol" Bass,who was set to open a new restaurant on Wilmington's East Side this monthas part of a neighborhood revitalization effort, but whose plans have been put on hold because of the pandemic.
"That blaming nonsense really is not important. Ultimately, the most important thing is, how do we get this violence to stop?"
Police announced the 15-year-old's arrest Thursday, on what would have been Redding's 14th birthday. They also said they charged a 14-year-old boy with lying to police in connection with the shooting.
The 15-year-old is being held at the New Castle County Detention Center on $57,000 cash-only bail, while the 14-year-old was released on $500 unsecured bail.
Redding's funeral is set for Friday.