Three teenagers were arrested and charged with capital murder after 6-year-old Kingston Frazier was shot and killed in Jackson, Mississippi Thursday. Kingston’s mother, Ebony Archie, left him in the backseat of a running car when she stepped into a grocery store early in the morning. When she emerged from the store, her car, with Kingston inside of it, was gone.
The Jackson Police Department issued an alert on Twitter about the incident at 2:28 a.m., alerting the public to be on the lookout for a 2000 silver Toyota Camry with the license plate HYX 783.
Kingston was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds in the backseat of the car 15 miles away from the grocery store later that morning. Dwan Diondro Wakefield, 17, DeAllen Washington, 17, and Byron McBride Jr., 19, were all charged with capital murder Friday. Byron McBride Jr. was identified by the police as the shooter over the weekend. The three teens were expected to appear in court Monday where a judge would determine whether to set bail.
Authorities said they had not yet determined a motive for the murder.
Initial reports about the incident were contradictory as authorities and family disputed how long it took Archie to alert law enforcement that Kingston was in the backseat of the car. Hinds County Sheriff Victor Mason originally said Archie waited before telling authorities he was in the car, but the family said that was not the case and the sheriff’s office later clarified their statement.
“She told [the deputy] right then that the car was missing and her baby was in it,” said Archie’s aunt, Velma Eddington, according to the Clarion-Ledger. “Why would she be concerned about an old car? Anybody who says she didn’t say the baby was missing is wrong.”
Still, the timeline of the night’s incidents remained murky even as the three teens were arrested and charged. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said any delays in issuing an amber alert would have been understandable since the process requires multiple procedural steps. MBI spokesperson Warren Strain also said some of the delay occurred because authorities had difficulty getting information about the car because it was not in Archie’s name.
“These people bought the car from someone else, so the car was not registered to them,” said Mason. “We had to get the information about the car. The lady couldn’t tell us nothing because the car wasn’t registered to her. We had to take time to figure out the license and serial number and everything.”
The case became further complicated when police alerted the media about Kingston’s death before confirming it to his father. As a spokesperson for the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department was speaking at a press conference, Kingston’s father emerged from the crowd.
“Where’s my son man?” he said. “I’ve been waiting nine hours to hear anything. I ain’t heard s*** about my son all day. Man, I know he ain’t right. If something’s wrong let me know right here.”
“My son’s dead, man,” he said after finally hearing the news. “They killed my son, man. They shot my son.”
Photos showed Kingston’s mother being carried by family members upon hearing the news, having collapsed at the district attorney’s office where she found out about his death.
“I told ya’ll that s*** wasn’t right,” she said, according to the Clarion-Ledger. “I told y’all.”
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said Friday it was “confident” that the three teenagers who were arrested are responsible. Security video from the scene showed Archie getting out of the car before another car drove up and a man got out and drove off in the Camry. Prosecutors could seek the death penalty in the case, authorities said.