Shooting victim glad to see indictments of two men
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EAST JACKSON, Tenn — Two men are indicted in the homicide of 18-year-old Shomari Peterson. One of the men, charged at 17, will be tried as an adult. On July 27, 2014, police say Jakeil Waller and Jernigal Blackwell shot into a crowd of people at parkway east apartments, killing Peterson and injuring 21-year-old Thomas Reid. The families of the two boys are now bonded by the tragedy. “I replay the day over and over, I wonder was there something I could’ve done different to help him,” Shomari’s mother, Breeona Stitts, said. Waller and Blackwell have been indicted on charges of second degree murder and aggravated assault. Reid said he feels lucky to be alive. Shots went off and I took off to running when I felt my chest, something go like that, I looked down and blood was gushing out,” Thomas Reid, Jr. said. Shomari’s mother said her son ran away too. She found him in an apartment not far from the scene. “I picked him up and put him in my lap and I held him and wiped his face and kissed him and told him to hold on and it’s going to be okay,” Stitts said. “There’s not a word I can say. It feels like life ended that day,” Reid’s parents said although happy to see indictments, they believe the two suspects should face an attempted murder count, not aggravated assault. “It’s going to be an example,” Thomas Reid, Sr., the victim’s father, said. “Everybody’s going to look at it like you can shoot somebody in the chest and if they don’t die it’s assault.” Thomas, Sr. said his son now deals with COPD after a bullet pierced his lung. Shomari’s family is still coping with losing the Liberty Tech senior. But these two men behind bars makes moving on easier. “Nothing’s going to bring Shomari back, I know that, but maybe it will bring me some type of closure,” Stitts said. The families said they plan to be in the courtroom for Waller and Blackwell’s next hearing.